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THE EMPEROR NINTOKU (see page 23) 

OKcf^vwinir fVif> cinntf from tllf» kltrVieil fireS. 




(Ancient and Modern) 






Yokohama : 


HoNOKONO Shanghai Sinoapore 


Universal History, tlie history of what man lias 
accomplished in this world, is at bottom the history 
of the great men who have worked here. — Carlyle 



The object of this book is to present in a concise 
form some information about the famous people of 
Japan. This information might be much extended and 
the number of people dealt with might be much in- 
creased ; but this would defeat the object of the book. 
We have tried to give what we consider is most 
needed by the general reader, whose time is limited 
and whose interest in the subject is not that of a 
specialist. With this aim in view we have had to 
consider as much what to leave out as what to put 
in, so as to make the book sufficient for its purpose 
without being redundant. The people we have written 
about are known to almost every Japanese ; and if 
an educated man in this country were asked to make 
a list of a hundred representative famous and well- 
known persons, probably ninety per cent of the ones 
we have chosen would be included in the list. We 
believe, therefore, that this comes near to the heart 
of things, and will be welcomed by Western readers 


who wish to know something of the makers of History 
in Japan ; but do not wish to overburden their minds 
with names and details that are not so essential. 
The narratives are arranged as nearly as possible in 
chronological order. Two or three of these can hardly 
be included under the title of this book ; but they are 
given on account of their close connection with the 
national life and history. For purposes of compari- 
son, the proper names in the headings are given in 
the original ideographs as well as in their translitera- 
ted form. 

Anecdotes have been included for the reason that 
they sometimes throw more light on the character of 
the people referred to than a mere recital of dry 
biographical facts. 

The historical summary that we have given is of 
necessity extremely brief; but it may serve as a 
thread loosely to bind together the narratives that 
follow ; and to give at least a connected outline of 
the history that the persons dealt with helped to 

We have drawn our material mainly from Japanese 
sources ; but we have also referred to the standard 
works in English for the valuable and copious infor- 
mation which these provide. 

The illustrations are most of them reproductions of 


masterpieces in the possession of art collectors in 
Japan, to whom we make our grateful acknowledg- 

We wish also to express our hearty thanks to Mr. 
S. Toyoshima for collecting some anecdotes of people 
in the Meiji era ; and to Mr. E. J. Harrison for his 
kind help with the proofs. 

15th May 1911 (44th Year of Meiji j. 
The Year of the Boar 



Historical Summary 
Actors, Famous ... 
Adams William . . . 

Ama ShOgun 

Arai Hakuseki ... 
Ascetics, Yogis, etc. 



Basho, The Poet 


■Chikamatsu ... 


Date Masamune 
JIn no Shokaku 
Endo Morito 
Enomoto Buyo 
Fencing, Masters of 
Fortune, Seven Gods 
Forty-Seven Eonins 


fukuzawa yukichi 
Oo-Daigo, Emperor 
Hachimantaro Yoshhe 
Han AW A HoKiicHi. . . 



Hanawa Hokiichi (Anecdote) 


„ (Anecdote) 

HmosE, Commander 




Ii Naosuke 


„ (Anecdote) 


Inoue, Marquis (Anecdote) 

IsHiGURO, Surgeon-General ... ... 

Ito, Prince (1) 

» „ (2) 

Japanese Robinson Crusoe, A 

JiMMU, Emperor 

Jingo, Empress 

JtJJUTSu, Founder op New School of 

Kabayama, Admiral 

Kaibara Ekken 

„ „ (Anecdote) 


Kano Hogai 

Kano Motonobu 

Kano School, Masters of 

Kano Motonobu (Anecdote) 

Kato Kiyomasa 

Katsu Kaishu 












Kenrei Monin 

KiDO Koin 


Kobo Daishi 

KoDAMA, General 
KojiMA Takanori 


KusuNOKi Masashige .. 
KusuNOKi Masatsura .. 

„ „ (Anecdote] 

Maejima Mitsu (Anecdote) .. 

Maruyama Okyo 

Masamune and Muramasa 


Minamoto no Yoshitomo 
MiURA (Anecdote) 
Morinaga, Prince 
MoTooRi Morinaga 


INakae To ju 

„ „ (Anecdote) 


Nasu no Yoichi . . . 



I^intoku, Emperor 


No AND Kyogen, Founders of 
JS'oGi, General 



Occult Arts, and Psychic Investigatoes 212 

Oda Nobunaga 118 

Okubo Hikozaemon 12<^> 

0kubo toshimichi 177 

Okuma, Count 190 

OiSHi YosHio 144r 

0-oka Echizen 1^9 

Oto-Tachibana 19 

Oyama, Marshal 19^ 

Painters OF the Meiji Era 215 

Eai Sanyo 156 

RoNiNs, The Forty-Seven 14^ 

Saigd, Marquis 203 

Saigo Takamori 175 

Saigo Takamori (Anecdote) 176 

Saigyo 76 

Sakanoue NO Tamueamaro 43 

Sakura SoGO 13S 

Sesshu 107 

Shibusawa, Baron (Anecdote) 229 

Shizuka 64r 

Shoguns, The Last OF the 170 

Shotoku Taishi 24 

SoGA Vendetta, The 79 

SoRORi Shinzaemon 124 

sugawara no michizane 44 

Sun Goddess, The 11 

SusANo-o AND THE Dragon 12 

Tametomo 52 



Tani, General 


... 197 



... 55 

Taira no Noritsune 


... 68 



... 31 

Tensho-Daijin ... . 


... 11 

Togo, Admiral 


... 193 



... 58 



... 125 



... 137 



... 114 

Uesugi Kenshin 


... 117 

Urashima Taro 


... 27 

Wake no Kiyomaro 


... 40 

Wrestlers, Famous 


... 219 

Yamada Nagamasa 

... 134 

Yamaga Soko 

... 140 

Yamagata, Prince 

... 189 

Yamatotakeru no Mikoto 

... 16 


... 169 


... 63 

Zen Mystics 

... 211 



The Emperok Nintoku 

Observing the smoke from the kitchen fires. 

The Emperor Jimmu and the Golden Kite ... . 
Yamatodakeru and the Chief of the Kumaso 
The Empress Jingo with Takenouchi and Her Son 

Shotoku Taishi 

Urashima Taro 

The Emperor Tenchi Receiving the Shoe ... . 

En NO Shokaku Walking ON THE Waves 

Wake no Kiyomaro Consulting the Oracle .... 
SuGAWARA NO MicHizANE IN Exile ... 

Gazing at the Emperor's gift. 


Writing her famous book in the temple. 

Statue of Daruma 

Carved by Yamazaki Choun. 


About to descend the hill to attack the Taira army. 


Dancing before the Shogun at Hachiman in Kamakura. 

Nasu NO ToicHi Shooting at the Fan 

Endo MoRiTo's Fatal Deed 

NicHiREN, the Famous Priest 

Preaching by the wayside in Kamakura. 

The Emperor Go-Daigo 


Prince Morinaga in the Cave, and the Assassin . 



... 13 

... 17 

... 21 

... 25 

... 29 

... 33 

... 37 

... 41 

... 45 

... 49 

... 53 

... 61 

... 65 

... 69 

... 73 

... 77 

... 81 

... 85 


KusuNoKi Masashige 89 

Taking leave of his son just before being killed in battle. 


(at Inamuragasaki, near Kamakura) 

KusuNOKi Masatsura Restrained by His Mother ... 97 

KojiMA Takanori Writing on the Tree 101 

Landscape by Sesshu, the Famous Painter 105 

Sword-Smiths at Work 109 

Uesugi Kenshin Breaking into the Enemy's Camp ... 115 
EIato KiYOMASA IN Korea 121 

Looking towards the mountains of home beyond the sea. 

Temple AT NiKKo 127 

Dedicated to Tokugawa leyasu. 


Having audience of the Emperor. 

Landscape BY Gyokusho 141 

A view of Arashiyama and cherry blossoms, near Kyoto. 

The Soga Vendetta 145 

Hanawa HoKHCHi, THE Blind Scholar 151 

Continuing his exposition, unaware that the light has gone out. 

The Girl's Festival 157 

Painted by Miss Shoin Sakakibara. 

A Shinto Priest 161 

Painted by the famous Hokusai. 

The Carp _ 165 

Famous picture by Okyo. 

The Seven Gods OF Fortune 173 

Prince ItO 179 

Prince Yamagata 187 

•Admiral Togo 191 

General Nogi 195 

General KoDAMA 201 

Commander Hirose 205 


Imps Tempting A Mystic 209' 


Kano Hogai's Masterpiece. 

HiTACHiYAMA, THE Champion 217 

Playing THE ^oro 221 

DANJtJEo, THE Famous Actor 225 

Playing the part of Benkei. 



The earliest history of Japan, called the Kojiki 
(Record of Ancient Matters), was written in A.D. 712 ; 
and from this source the Shinto mythology and early 
traditions are mainly drawn. According to these, 
before the first human Emperor there were many 
generations of gods, and from these divine ancestors 
Jimmu Tenno is believed to have descended. The- 
date of his birth is given as 711 B.C ; and his en- 
thronement as 660 B.C., which date is fixed officially 
as the beginning of the present Imperial line. 

From tliis time until the reign of the Empress Jingo 
in the third century, little is known. During the 
reign of this Empress, the principal event recorded is 
the invasion of Korea, planned and carried out by the 
Empress, who crossed to the Peninsula with her fleet 
and conquered three Korean principalities. On her 
return to Japan, she gave birth to her son, the Em- 
peror Ojin, afterwards apotheosized as Hachiman, the- 
god of war, whose shrines may still be found through- 
out Japan. 

The next epoch-making event was the introduction 
of Buddhism in the sixth century, from China througL 
Korea, which heralded an ethical awakening, and 
proved of inestimable benefit to the civilization of 
Japan. Chinese learning, science and arts were 
adopted, and great advance in culture and political 


-administration was made. During the seventh century 
iihe government was centralized, and further improved 
in many ways. 

During most of the eighth century the capital 
was at Nara. This is called the Nara era, and the 
two oldest histories, tlie Kojikl and the Nihongi (lit. 
"Chronicles of Japan"), were compiled at this time. 
In 794 the Emperor Kwammu moved his court to 
Kyoto which thereafter continued (until 1869) to be 
the place of Imperial residence. But at this time, 
and continuing for about five hundred years, the de 
facto rulers of Japan were members of the great 
Fujiwara family, whose daughters were married to 
Emperors, and whose sons held the principal offices 
of State. At last, however, in the eleventh and twelfth 
-centuries, the powerful Taira and Minamoto clans rose 
to dispute this supremacy, and subsequently wrested 
the reins of power from each other by turns. Fight- 
ing between these great rivals went on continually, 
— until in 1185 the Taira family was completely 
overthrown, and Minamoto Yoritomo became Shogun. 
This was the most dramatic period of Japanese history, 
■and the stirring events of this time are recorded in 
many epic narratives well known to every Japanese. 

Yoritomo established his government at Kamakura, 
•and thus another epoch-making era — known as the 
Kamakura era (1192-1333) — was ushered in. He 
•divided the provincial government among his allies 
with the intention of keeping the real control in his 
own hands. But before he could fully accomplish this 
Ihe died (in 1199) ; and as his sons were weaklings, 


the nemesis of usurpation soon overtook his house ; 
for the actual authority passed into the hands of the^ 
Ho jo family, who acted as *'Eegents" for about a 
hundred years. One of the principal events of the 
Hojo period was the attempted Mongol invasion which 
was repulsed by Hojo Tokimune, aided by a violent 
storm which destroyed the enemy's fleet. The Hoja 
family was finally overthrown in 1333 by the Emperor- 
Go-Daigo and his faithful followers. 

The Ashikaga family was the next to obtain ad- 
ministrative control; and the period from 1336 until 
1573 is known as the Ashikaga age. During part 
of this era considerable progress was made in all the 
arts ; but from 1467 until about the middle of the 
following century, Japan was torn by internecine 
strife, and the people suifered great hardship. At 
last the Ashikaga family weakened ; and towards the- 
close of the sixteenth century their downfall came. 
The decline of the Ashikaga control released the local 
Daimyos from restraint ; and as the country lost 
cohesion, they began furiously to struggle among 
themselves. Thus the country was fast drifting into 
a condition of utter anarchy. Fortunately, however, 
this state of things did not last long ; for towards the 
end of the sixteenth century, three great men appeared 
simultaneously, who arrested this disintegration and 
centralized the power of government once more. 

These three were Oda Nobunaga, Taiko Hideyoshi, 
and Tokugawa leyasu, and all three were born in the 
same decade. The work of centralization commenced 
by Nobunaga was completed by Hideyoshi, who 


brought the whole of Japan under his sway. And 
thus the way was prepared for leyasu, the great 
organizer and administrator, who founded the Toku- 
gawa Shogunate, which lasted for about two hundred 
and fifty years (until 1865). Tokugawa leyasu estab- 
lished his capital at Yedo in 1590 and obtained the 
title of Shogun in 1603. Among the many means 
by which he secured the supremacy of his house, 
not the least effective was the mandate which com- 
pelled the Daimyos to reside in Yedo every alternate 
year, and to leave their wives and families there as 
hostages all the time. During the peaceful Tokugawa 
era, the national culture made great advance, 
and many famous men of letters and masters 
of the various arts appeared. In time, however, as 
the Yedo court came to degenerate through luxury 
and effeminacy, the great Southern and Western 
-clans began to assert their strength, and a tide of 
general discontent set in. The pressure from Western 
Powers, with the arrival of Commodore Perry and his 
"' Black Ships," and the attitude of the Shogunate 
at this time, gave the final impetus to a general 
uprising of these powerful clans. And at last the 
supremacy of the Shogunate ceased ; and Keiki, the 
last of the Shoguns, resigned his power into the 
hands of the Emperor. 

Thus the feudal period ended, the reigning Emperor 
assumed full control, and (in 1868) the present Meiji 
(lit. "enlightened government") era began. In 1869 
the name of Yedo was changed to Tokyo (lit. Eastern 
Capital) and this became the seat of the Imperial 


residence. From this time onwards there followed in 
rapid succession all kinds of radical changes and 
wholesale reforms. But the principal events of the 
present era need not be here recorded, as fchey are 
sufficiently well known. 

"^^t^^^^^l^rfS^xr . 


The sacred mytli of Tenslio- 
daijin, or Amaterasn (lit. " Heaven 
Shiner "), should be mentioned here, 
as it is closely connected with national 
matters such as the ancestry ascribed to 
the Emperor Jimmu, the origin of the mirror 
and the jewel which form two of the three 
Sacred Treasures of Japan, the rites of Shinto, the 
origin of music and the dance (Kagura), with many 
ramifications in the social life. The sln-ines at Yamada 
in Ise Province — and especially the inner sanctuary 
dedicated to the Sun Goddess — are the most ancient and 
honoured of the many shrines throughout the land. And it is 
here that matters of national moment are reverently reported 
by the Emperor in person, or by deputy. It was for this 
purpose that Admiral Togo proceeded to Ise Bay with his whole 
fleet at the close of the great war. 

According to the ancient Japanese mythology, in the begin- 
ning there were three deities who came into existence without 
creation and afterwards disappeared. After a certain number 
of divine generations, there appeared in Takama-no-hara (lit. 
"Plain of High Heaven") the two named Izanami and 
Izanagi, believed t ) be connected with the formation of Japan, 
and subsequently myriads of minor gods. According to the 
legend, it was from the left eye of Izanagi that the Svm 
Goddess, the ruler of heaven, was born. And from the right 
eye came her impetuous brother Susano-o, the ruler of the 
earth. The story of how her brother's violence caused her to 
hide in a cave, and the means by which she was at last induced 
to emerge and lighten the world ; and how her unruly brother 
was subdued and banished to Izumo, with the details of his 
subsequent career — forms the oldest national legend of Japan. 


It is remarkable that a sacred narrative closely resembling 
the English national story of St. George and the 33ragon also 
forms one of the ancient national legends of Japan. Susano-o 
no Mikoto, brother of the Sun Goddess, being expelled from 
heaven by his father, set out on a long earthly pilgrimage. 
One day when he came to the river Hi in Izumo, he found an 
old man and woman with their daughter, in deep distress. 
When he asked the cause of their weeping, the old man told 
him that they had lost seven daughters already, and were 
about to lose the last remaining one. Every year an eight- 
headed dragon had devoured one of their children ; and they 
knew of no way to save the last beloved daughter. Then 
Susano-o swore that he would rescue her. 

He had eight tubs of wine prepared — one for each head — 
and then laid in wait for the dragon's appearance. At last the 
creature came, and finding the wine placed for him, drank 
deeply until at last he became intoxicated and slept. Then 
Susano-o fell upon him with his sword and slew him — cutting 
his body into pieces. And in the tail of the great serpent he 
fomid a sword which he drew 
forth. Thus having conquer- 
ed the animal monster and 
possessed himself of the sword 
of power, he became united 
with the virgin, and they 
dwelt happily together, with 
the old man as master of 
their house. This sword is 
regarded as one of the Sacred 
Treasures of Japan. 






Jimmu, tlie first Emperor of Japan, according to Japanese SC 
liistorians, was of the fifth generation from Tensho-daijin, the 
Sun Grxidess ; and became ruler of Jaj)an in 660 B. C, from ^ 
which time dates the beginning of the Japanese Empire. 

The Imperial Family had been living for several generations ^ 
in the island of Kyushu, and it was from here that Jimmu and 
his elder brother Itsuse started for the main island on their 
expedition of conquest. But as a tribe, with their women and 
•children, journeyed with them, their progress was slow; and 
many delays and difficulties were met with. At last, after 
about seven years, they reached Naniwa (now Osaka) where 
their conflicts with the natives commenced. 

In the first battle. Prince Itsuse was killed by an arrow shot 
by a chief named Nagasune ("Long Shanks"), who raised an 
army to oppose the invaders. But Jimmu and his warrioi-s 
finally conquered and journeyed on ; and many curious legends 
tell of the heavenly aid and miraculous events that attended 
their triumphant progress. One of these legends tells of a 
golden kite emitting brilliant rays that alighted on the bow 
of Jimmu, and greatty disconcerted the enemy. This is the 
origin of the famous Order of the Golden Kite,* which high 
decoration is given to soldiers and sailors for distinguished 

After bringing the country into subjection, Jimmu Tenno — 
th(3n about sixty-two years old — established his seat of govern- 
ment at Kashiwara in Yamato Province, where for seventy-five 
years he continued to rule the country, and to strengthen the 
foundation of the empire. According to the KojiU (" Kecord 
of Ancient Matters "), he died at the age of one hundred and 

* See fiicsimile on front cover. 



Prince Yamatotakeru, son of the Emperor Keiko, is said 
to have lived about eighteen hundred years ago. He was 
noted for his bravery and ability as a military leader; and 
some well-known epical narratives are told of his national 
exploits. He was very large in stature : in fact, tradition says 
that he was about ten feet high. 

In those days there wore two powerful tribes in Japan 
which had not been entirely subdued by the Japanese. One 
was called the Kumaso which occupied the greater part of 
Kyushu; while the other tribe, called the Ezo, lived in the 
northern part of the coimtry. The direct descendants of 
this tribe are the present Ainos of Hokkaido, about twenty 
thousand of whom still survive. These two tribes for many 
centuries gave no small amomit of trouble to the rulers of 
the country. 

When Prince Yamatotakeru at the head of an army went 

to subjugate the Kumaso, he was a mere boy ; but by means 

of a certain stratagem he succeeded in over- 

^^)V^-;j^^.j^^J coming the enemy by personally slaying 

their chief; and thus avoided the heavj 

slaughter of a general appeal to arms. 

He also did great service in subjugating 
i\\Q Ezo tribe; and went through all kinds 
of hardship. On his way back to the capital 
from the expedition, he caught a kind of 
fever, and died at Nobono in the province 
of Ise, whenihe was only thirty years old. 






Princess Oto-Tacliibana, the wife of Yamatotakeru, lias 
always been honoured as a model of wifely devotion and self- 
sacrifice. She accompanied her 
husband on his expedition against 
the Ezo barbarians, and bravely ^^^^^^^^^^^ 

shared his hardships and perils. ^^V^^T"^^ — 

One da;N' when they were crossing 
the Bay of Yedo to Kazusa in a 
l)oat, a violent storm arose, and as 
the boat was rather heavily laden, it was in danger of being 
overwhelmed. Seeing this, the princess feared that something 
had made the sea god angry, and decided to sacrifice herself 
to appease his wrath. She urged her husband to let nothing 
liinder the fulfilment of the task entrusted to him. And then, 
throwing out the thick mats to lighten the boat, she seated her- 
self on them and drifted away. Instantly the sea became calm, 
and the prince continued his voyage in safety. The princess 
was never seen again ; but her comb was washed ashore, and 
the people built a shrine in which it W' as preserved. 

On the wa}' back from his successful expedition, Yamato- 
takeru returned by way of the Usui pass opposite to Mount 
Fuji. And as he gazed over the sea where his devoted wife 
had sacrificed herself for him, he cried in his sorrow, " Azuma 
wa ya!" (Oh! my wife!). And thus, it is said, the country 
north of this pass came to be known as Azuma. 

Last year, (1910), a stone monument was erected at Hashiri- 
mizu to mark the place where the boat started, and to honour 
the memory of the gentle princess. The picture of her seated 
on the drifting mats is a favourite one in Japanese art. 

a ^r^s aO r-m^o 



The Empress Jingo, wife of the Emperor Chiiai, lived alx)ut 
seventeen hundred years ago. From childhood she was noted 
for her wisdom and noble character, and also for her beauty. 

In those days Korea was divided into three independent 
states, which were always quarreling with one another. The 
ruler of one of the three states asked the Emperor Chuai 
for assistance; but the Emperor died while on the point of 
embarking for Korea with a large army. Thereupon the 
Empress Jingo decided to take his place, and set out at the 
head of her warriors. After fighting many battles, she suc- 
ceeded in subduing the southern half of Korea, and this became 
a dependency of Japan. 

Shortly after her return to Japan, a son of the late Emperor 
was born to her; and he afterwards became the famous 
Emperor Ojin. 

The Empress Jingo had an excellent adviser named Takeno- 
uchi, who is said to have 
lived for three hundred and 
eight years. His picture 
may be seen on the present 
bank-notes in Japan. In 
Japanese art one may often 
find the picture of a beauti- 
ful woman-warrior accom- 
panied by a venerable 
white-haired man holding 
a baby in his arms. These 
are the same three. 

The Korean dependency continued for many hundreds of 
years ; but was at last given up in the reign of the Emperor 




The Emperor Ojin, son of the Empress Jingo, had two sons. 
The yomiger one named Wakairatsnko was the favourite of 
the old Emperor and was appointed heir to the throne ; but 
when the Emperor died, Wakairatsnko insisted that his elder 
brother Osasagi should be the successor. The elder brother, 
however, maintained that this was against the will of their 
father ; and thus, for three years, each continued to iu*ge the 
crown upon the other, until at last Wakairatsnko kiUed him- 
self, in order that his brother might succeed to the throne. 
Osasagi then became Emperor, and reigned during the greater 
part of the fourth century. 

He is known as the Emperor Nintoku, and was in every 
way an exemplary ruler. The people at that time were living 
in great poverty, and their benevolent Sovereign was moved 
witli pity for them when he saw from his tower how seldom 
the smoke rose from their kitchen fires. He remitted all taxes 
for three^ years and did what he could to relieve his poorer 
subjects, denying himself all luxuries and living very simply. 
But after three years of this he had the satisfaction of seeing 
the smoke rise from many cheerful cottage fires. 

"Now we are indeed rich," he said to the Empress. 

" We cannot even repair the roof of our house, we are so 
poor," she replied. 

"No," said the Emperor, "our 
riches consist in the comfort and 
happiness of our beloved subjects." 

During his long reign, the Em- 
peror Nintoku carried out all kinds 
of practical public works for the 
benefit of the people, and was a 
benefactor to all. 



It was during the reign of the Emperor Kimmei (in A.D. 
552) 1 that Buddhism first came to Japan. It came tln-ongh 
Korea ; and gradually gaining influence, at 
first in the Imperial Court and among the 
upper classes, at last — towards the end of 
the sixth century — in spite of some obsta- 
cles, the new religion triumphed. 

Now the first great name closely con- 
nected with the development of Buddhism 
in Japan was that of Shotoku Taishi (A.D. 
571-621), nephew and heir of the Empress 
Suiko. It is said of this truly remarkable man that he was 
able to speak as soon as he was born ; and that he possessed 
an extraordinary faculty of attending to several things at the 
same time. In fact, it is said that he could hear the appeals 
of ten people at once, and give to each a proper answer. He 
was regarded as the avatar of a great Indian teacher. 

The prince used the wiiole influence of the government in 
favour of Buddhism, and built many temples. One of these — 
the famous temple called Horyuji at Nara — still stands, and 
is considered the best example of the art and architecture of 
that day. He also wrote some valuable commentaries on the 
sacred books of Buddhism, and rendered great service to the 
propaganda in many other w^ays. 

He was also a most enlightened statesman, and it was owing 
to his adaptation of Chinese methods of government — known 
as the "Laws of Shotoku-Taishi " — tliat the Japanese govern- 
ment began to assume a well-organized form. Though he 
never ascended the throne, he was principal adviser to the 
government for about thirty years. He died at the age of 







All Japanese children know about Urasliinia Taro-tlie Kip ^ 
Van Winkle of Japan. About fourteen hundred and thirty 
years ago — so the story goes — when fishing in his boat one ^jw 
summer day, he caught a tortoise 
on his line. But the fisher-boy 
knew that the tortoise was sacred 
to the Dragon God of the Sea, so he 
murmured a prayer and gently set 
it free. 

8fX3n after this a beautiful maiden 
rose out of the sea and entered the 

l)oat. "I am the daughter of the Dragon King," she said. 
"And I have come to thank you for your kindness to the 
tortoise ; and also to invite you to my father's home." 

So together they went to the wonderland ; and Taro became 
the son-in-law of the Dragon King. For three years he lived 
there in perfect happiness ; but at last the desire to see his 
parents again became very strong, so he asked his bride to 
let him go back for a short time. Keluctantly she at last 
agreed to this ; and when he left, she gave him a box which 
she made him promise never to open. For if he opened it, he 
never could return to her again. 

So he went away ; but when he reached his native village, he 
found that all was changed. Not even a trace of his old home 
remained. And no wonder ! — for since he left home on that 
summer day, four hundred years had come and gone. Full of 
sadness, he wandered back to the beach ; and at last in despair 
he opened the box ! Instantly a strange white vapour escaped 
iind drifted awa}*. x^iid with it went also Taro's youth and 
strength : for in that moment he became an old, old man ; and 
sank down lifeless on the sand beside the sea. 



Daruma was not a Japanese, but liis name is a liousehold 
word in Japan ; and his picture is probably the most com- 
monly drawn. Even as a toy his odd limbless figure is 
familiar to every child in the land. 

His real name was Bodhidarma, contracted to Dharma, and 
he is said to have been the son of an Indian king. In the 
sixth century he went to China and became a teacher of 
Dhydna, a system of mystic meditation, to the Chinese Em- 
peror Bu. In China Daruma found many earnest disciples 
who studied his system and gave it the name of Zen-na which 
was afterwards introduced into Japan by priests who went to 
China for study. In Japan at present Zen-na, commonly 
known as Zen, though much degenerated, is probably the best 
form of Buddhism remaining. 

Daruma is usually 
depicted as a rather 
grotesque figure w^ith- 
out legs, as he is sup- 
posed to have lost them 
when sitting in motion- 
less contemplaticm for a 
period of no less than 
nine years. Another 
r**^— ^- story has it that one 
night in the midst of 
his meditation he was 
overpowered with sleep, 
and when he awoke he cut off his eyelids and threw^ them on 
the ground. Thereupon, says the legend, they turned directl^^ 
into tiny tea-plants, taking root in the soil. 






~ ~ *^^^3B!I^I^^^^^ ~'~^^^flli^^^B 





URASHIMA TARO (see page 27). 




The Emperor Tenchi, who reigued from A.D. 662 to 671, was 
one of the most enlightened administrators that Japan has 
had. As a yoimg man he took a leading part in the overthrow 
of the powerful Soga clan. This old clan 
had become so influential at court that its 
leader, named Iruka, began to harbour 
secret designs on the throne itself; and 
Tenchi, then Prince Naka no Oe, was one 
of the first to become aware of this. So 
taking counsel with Nakatomi no Kamatari, 
and with the aid of other loyalists, he put 
an effective stop to these ambitious designs. 

Prior to the suppression of the Soga clan, there had been 
no strong central government in Japan; the Imperial House 
was simply the strongest clan. Thus the Emperor had no 
direct control over the country as a whole. It was in the 
reform of this unsatisfactory state of things, and in the central- 
ization of the government, that Tenchi rendered such great 
service. At this time he was heir apparent to his uncle, the 
Emperor Kotoku, in whose reign this great reform — known 
as the Taikwa reform — culminated, and the Taikwa era (the 
first of the iiengb, or era names) began. But the prince was the 
real power behind the throne. In importance, this reformation 
may be compared to that of the Meiji era in 1868, as it 
practically laid the foundation of the Imperial rule in Japan. 
The Emperor Tenchi died in 67 J, at the age of forty-six. 




Kamatari, the founder of the famous Fujiwara family, so 
closely connected with the Imperial House in Japan, was the 
right hand of the Emperor Tenchi, and took an active part in 
the great reforms during the reigns of Kotoku, Saimyo, and 
Tenchi. He was undoubtedly one of Japan's greatest states- 

His connection with the Emperor Tenchi began when they 
were both young men. Kamatari saw the danger of the clan 
systems ; and for some years had been planning the introduction 
of fundamental reforms in the method of government. He also 
saw the necessity of finding some prince of the Imperial line to 
co-operate with him ; and after testing several, his choice 
finally fell on the young prince who afterwards became Tenchi- 
tenno. He found an opening for intimate relations in a 
cm'ious way. One day when playing football, the prince 
accidentally kicked off his shoe, and Kamatari, who happened 
to be one of the party, at once picked it up and kneeling, 
respectfully offered it to the prince, who in his turn also knelt 
and respectfully received it. These two afterwards became 
very closely connected in the affairs of State ; and the wise 

advice of Kamatari was sought on 
all important occasions. Shortly 
before his death in 1)69, the Em- 
X3eror Tenchi conferred on him the 
rank of " Great Minister " (0-omi), 
and granted him the family name 
of Fujiwara. And for about five 
hundred years— until the 12tli century — the descendants of this 
great famil}^ were the de facto rulers of Japan. 

-o^^-^<D'0%%^'^-0^- ^-o^ 


Si ilMi^^i 




En no Sliukakii, or En no Gyoja (En the Yogi), tlie magician 
wlio founded the Shugen (flj.^) School, or YamahusMs, was 
born in the province of Yamato in A.D. 634; and from his 
early years was remarkable for 
singular ability. He had always a 
strong bent towards mysticism ; and 
at the age of thirty-two, he left his 
home and went to the summit of 
Mount Katsuragi, where he lodged 
for thirty years in a cave. He is 
said to have gained magical powers, and to have employed 
elemental spirits to do his will. 

His supposed sorcery at last came to be greatly feared? 
and the matter being reported to the Emperor Mommu, he 
was arrested and confined in an enclosed place, bound with 
chains. His captors thought they had thus effectively secured 
him ; but to the amazement of everybody, Shokaku suddenly 
sprang up, and breaking his chains as if they were cobwebs, 
levitated his body high up in the air and escaped. Then the 
authorities, finding it impossible to capture him, seized his 
aged mother instead and held l:er as a hostage, until at last, 
Shokaku— to save his mother — peacefully gave himself up. He 
was banished to an island in Izu Province where he remained 
for some years. And although he was afterwards released, he 
became dissatisfied with Japan, and decided to utilize his 
occult powers in leaving the country. He put his mother in a 
bowl-shaped tub, and carrying her on one hand, crossed over 
to China by walking on the waves. 

A few centuries after the disappearance of Shokaku, the 
teachings of this school were revived by priests — notabl}" 
Seiho and Zoyo — of the Shingon and Tendai Buddhist sects, 
in whose esoteric orders certain of this occult knowledge was 
believed to be preserved. 



The liigliest grade of ascetics that Japanese and Chinese 
tradition tells of were the Sennin ({[IjA)- These ideographs 
being composed of \ or ^ (man) and \1\ (moimtain) mean 
literally "mountain men." Tliej are said to have dwelt on 
high momitains, and to have possessed great wisdom and 
knowledge of nature's secrets. It is said that in times of 
national emergency, the ancient Emperors of China would 
consult these Magi. Later, however, the word sennin came 
to mean any kind of wonder-worker or yogi (called gydja in 
Japan) ; and at present ordinary conjurers sometimes apply to 
themselves this term. Asceticism has been practised in Japan 
from ancient times, and not a few traces of it still remain. 
One of the commonest forms is called nangyo, and consists of 
various austerities such as standing under waterfalls, fasting 
and feats of endurance. The repetition of mantra is still quite 
common ; and various kinds of charms are extensively used. 

The most notable ascetics of the feudal period were the 
Yamahushis (lit. "mountain dwellers"; of the Shugen (fgi^) 
school founded by En no Shokaku (see page 35). Members of 
this m^'sterious order were much feared at one time on account 
of their occult arts. But as these degenerated into sorcery and 
fell into disrepute. In fact, in the early 
part of the present Meiji era, such practices 
were forbidden by law. Before the Re- 
storation, however, the YainabusJds and 
other practisers of occult arts belonged to 
a regular organization (the Shugen-shu), of 
which the nominal head was a member of 
one of the Kuge, or Court noble families 
in Kyoto, named Tsuchimikado. 

Nichiren and Kobo Daishi, the famous 
priests, were believed to possess magical 
powers, and some curious phenomena are related in connection 
with them. Fiu^ther information on this subject is given in 
vOccult Arts, on page 212. 




By permission of the Gaho-sha. 

(Painted by Matsumoto Fuko). 




Kukai, or Kobo Daislii, the famous priest who founded 
the Shingon sect of Buddhism, was one of the greatest thinkers 
that ever appeared in Japan. He was born in Sanuki Province 
in A.D. 774, and from 
childhood was remark- 
able for his sagacity. At 
the age of fifteen he went 
to Kyoto to study the 
Chinese classics; and in 
a few years could read 
and write this difficult 
language as if it were his native tongue. 

At the age of twenty he became a Buddhist priest ; and by 
the time he was thirty-one, he became so advanced in wisdom 
that he was selected by the Emperor to go to China for 
further study. For China at that time was more advanced in 
culture and civilization than any other country in the world ; 
and many great priests appeared in that country, where the 
sacred books of Buddhism had been translated, and were 
deepl}- studied. 

It was under one of the greatest of these priests, named 
Keikwa, that Kobo studied; and in two jears he was able 
to master even the most esoteric teachings. So that when he 
returned to Japan in 806, no priest in the whole land could 
compare with him, and he was treated with profound respect 
even by the Emperor. He is credited with the possession of 
magical powers such as writing in running water, and making 
his body appear as if blazing with light. 

In 8J.6, he established a temple on Mt. Ko3'a in Kii Pro- 
vince, and lived there most of the time until his death in 835, 
at the age of sixty-two. 




Wake no Kijomaro will always be remembered as a fearless 
patriot who rescued the Imperial House from a very serious 
danger. For during the reign of the Empress Koken (749 — 
759) he thwarted the designs of a powerful and ambitious 
priest named Dokyo who actually aimed to enthrone himself as 
Emperor, with temporal as well as spiritual power. 

The Empress Koken was an ardent believer in Buddhism ; 
but unfortiniately she came under the influence of this evil 
priest, and granted almost everything he asked for. He 
dwelt in tlie Imperial house and acquired the title of Great 
Chancellor of the Empire, and even Ho-b — a title given to 
retired Emperors. But Dokyo was not satisfied with being 
the most powerful subject : his insatiable ambition aimed 
still higher, and at last he made known to the Empress his 
long-cherished scheme. 

Then the Empress in her perplexity decided to consult the 
god Hachiman, and despatched a court official named Wake no 
Kiyomaro to the Usa shrine in Buzen Province for this pur- 
pose. Dokyo was prepared for this move, however, and 
secretly approached Kiyomaro with the offer to make him 
administrator of the Empire, if he brought back a favom^able 

report. At last Kiyomaro retm-ned 
with the oracle's reply. " Only one 
of the Imperial line can become Em- 
peror. Such a lawless and self- 
seeking man as Dokyo should be at 

once removed." 

95523i^^fe^SiTOCT Dokyo was furious when this 
answer came, and Kiyomaro was banished to a remote 
province. But when the Empress died shortly afterwards the 
downfall of the crafty priest soon followed. While the faithful 
Kiyomaro was summoned to court again by her successor, the 
Emperor Kwammu, and made Minister of the Home Depart- 


# # 


^^, -- ))*w^'; f /' 

-^' f ^' 





Tamuramaro, born iu A. D. 758, was the first of tlie great "^ 
warrior statesmen of Japan. He became distinguished during _^ 
the campaigns against the aboriginal barbarians called Ezo (or ™ 

Aino) who still held about a fourth _ 

of the country, and stubbornly re- ^^ '*•' Sli^^^ ^*J 

sisted the advance of the civilizing 
invaders. In these campaign^ Ta- 
muramaro showed great military 
talent, and was finally given the 
supreme command. He was appoint- 
ed Great Barbarian-Subduing General {Sei-i-tai-sliogun), being 
the first to hold this title. By 802 he had subdued the uprising 
of the barbarians, and on his return he was made Minister of 
Justice and a Councillqir at the Imperial Court. And in 810, 
when there was danger of civil war breaking out, he was put 
at the head of the Imperial forces, and his rank was raised to 
that of Cliief Councillor. Thus by sheer merit, he rose to be 
the highest subject in the Empire. 

He became a model for warriors of later days ; and the Sho- 
guns who came after him would go to worship at his tomb, and 
invoke the aid of his spirit before setting out on their military 
enterprises. Tamuramaro was *' a fine figure of a man, with 
eyes like a falcon's, and a beard the colour of gold." Brave 
and fierce as a lion in time of war, he was a mild and kindly 
knight at other times. A manly gentleman of the best Yamato 



There is hardly a town or village in Japan where the Shinto 
shrine called Tenjin-sama, or Tenman-gii, is not found. Tenjin 
is the patron saint of men of letters and students ; and formerly 
the twenty-fifth day of each month w^as kept as a holiday sacred 
to Tenjin-sama. 

Now, Tenjin is simply an honorary name given to Sugawara 
no Michizane, who lived about a thousand years ago. The Su- 
gawara was an old family, and learning and literature formed 
its hereditary profession ; but it was Michizane who made the 
family famous in the history of Japan. Even as a boy he 
showed wonderful talent, and composed an excellent ipoem in 
Chinese when only seven years old. 

He was appointed teacher of the 3'Oung prince who after- 
wards became the Emperor Uda (A. D. 888-898) ; and under 
his wise tutelage this young Emperor became an exemplary 
ruler. In fact, this reign is considered by historians to be the 
golden age of Japan. But the Fujiwara family, that for cen- 
turies had controlled the court, at last compelled Uda to 
abdicate in favour of his young son Daigo, though for a time 
Michizane remained as a councillor and Udaijin (Minister of 

the Right). At last, 
however, Tokihira, head 
of the Fujiwara family, 
became envious of Mi- 
chizane 's influence, and 
by false charges had 
him banished as an ex- 
ile to Kyushu, where 
he spent lonely and sorrowful days until his death two years 
later (in 903), at the age of fifty-nine. His one consolation was 
the possession of a robe presented to him by the Emperor, 
which he regarded with reverence, and cherished in loving 
memory of the royal giver. 


Gazing at the Emperor's Gift. 



Hacliiinautaro Yoshiie of tlie Minamoto clan was a contem- 
porary of William the Conqueror. When quite a young man he 
went with his father Yoriyoshi at the head of a large army to 
subjugate a very powerful rebel chief- 
tain in Mutsu Province, named Abe 
no Toritoki. For nine years fierce 
warfare continued, till the rebels were 
£Lt last subdued. Tliis is generally 

referred to in history as " Tlie earlier nine years' war," to 
distinguish it from another campaign called " The later three 
years' war " in which Yoshiie was engaged twenty-four years 

The northern half of Japan was at this time occupied by 
hostile barbarians ; but owing mainly to the efforts of the Mi- 
namoto clan, they were gradually subjugated. It was here 
especially that the wisdom and generosity of Yoshiie were of 
great service. For he governed these wild people with such 
dignity and kindness tliat at last they came to look upon him 
with love and respect. 

It was chiefly owing to the influence and popularity of Yoslii- 
ie, that his descendant Yoritomo was able to establish a power- 
iul feudal government at Kamakura a hundred and fifty years 





Lake Biwa in the province of Omi is the largest lake r 
in Japan, and is about two hundred miles in circum- 
ference. In its neighbourhood there are many places 
of historic interest ; but among them the old temple 
called Isldyamadera stands first. Visitors to Lake 
Biwa should not fail to see this ancient temple, 
for it was in a room here, that the famous novel 
called Genji Monogatari was written by Mura- 
saki Shikibu. 

She was the widow of Fujiwara INobutaka, 
a high officer, and became one of the court 
ladies of the Empress J6tomon-in. Li 
order to relieve the tedium of her royal 
mistress who at that time was confin- 
ed to her bed with a long illness, Mu- 
rasaki Shikibu retired to this lonely temple, and there wrote the 
famous story that has become a classic in Japan. In a style of 
great delicacy and literary charm, the story tells of the adven- 
tures of a young nobleman named Genji ; and thro^vs much 
light on the court life of that time. It is all the more remark- 
able when we consider that this story was written about a 
thousand years ago — before the Norman Conquest. 

Part of the book has been translated into English by Baron 
Suyematsu ; but naturally much is lost in translation. The 
beauty of the work can be fully appreciated only when it is. 
read in the original. 


Writing her famous book in the temple. 



Kamakura Gongoro was a warrior in the service of Hachi- 
mautaro Yosliiie and fouglit under liim against the army of the 
northern rebel Kiyowara no Takehira. 

He is remembered chiefly for an incident which well illus- 
trates the character and temperament of warriors of that day. 
It happened that once when fighting at the head of his com- 
rades, he was shot with an arrow in the right eye. In spite of 
this, however, Gongoro never for a moment left the ranks. He 
promptly broke off the shaft, and with the arrow-head still 
remaining in the socket, sprang fiercely forward to the contest 
with his long two-lianded sword. 

When the battle was over, he tried to pull out.the arrow-head 
with his own hands, but finding it impossible, he asked his 
comrade Miura Tametsugu to pull it out for him. But the 
arrow-head was rooted so firmly that, in straining to pull it out, 

Miura actually put his foot on Gongo- 
ros face. This, however, proved to be 
too much for the fiery Gongoro. He 
thrust away the foot, and jumping 
up, challenged his friend to combat, 
saying that he could endure pain but 
not rudeness ; and that it was beyond 
•endurance to be trodden on the face ! Miura humbly asked his 
forgiveness, and kneeling beside him, at last with great 
difficulty pulled out the arrow-head. 



.,^\\ ^t^\ ♦f^lt 

v^iOi'' v^vOi'^ >!^kO/^ 

mii> m^' MkM' 



Every child in Japan knows about the valiant Tametomo and 
his daring deeds. His matchless skill with his great bow, his 
Herculean strength, and lion-like courage, made him remark- 
able even among the many great war- 
riors of the illustrious Minamoto clan. 
He was more than seven feet in 
height, and his left arm being four 
inches longer than the right, he could 
bend the bow better than any other man in the land. It is 
said that the arrows used by him were so thick and long that 
they looked like spears. 

Asa child he was wilful and unmanageable, and his father 
General Tameyoshi sent him away to Kyuslm when he was. 
only thirteen years old. But as he grew up Tametomo chal- 
lenged and conquered every provincial lord until, by the time 
he was eighteen, he had the whole of Kyiishii under his sway. 

When he was twenty-one years old, the Hogen civil war 
broke out (in 1156), and with his father and six brothers he 
supported the Emperor Sutoku, and fought against the l^mperor 
Go-Shirakawa and the w^hole of the Taira clan. Many stories 
are told of his exploits at this time. The odds, however, were 
overwhelmingly against him, and at last he was taken prisoner 
and banished to the island of Oshima 
off the coast of Izu Province. But 
even here in exile his growing power "'■^'^^•^^"^^L^'^ 
at length became a menace to the 

government, and a powerful fleet was sent to subdue him. One 
account says that he committed haraJciri at this time and died 
at the age of thirty- two ; but another tradition says tliat he es- 
caped to Loochu where he finally made himself the king. 



By permission of the GAlxj-slia. 

STATUE OF DARUMA (see pa^e 2S). 
(Carved by Vamazaki Choun). 




Kiyomori (A.D. 1118-1181), chief of the Taira clan, was a 
crafty and ambitious warrior-statesman. While the chiefs of 
the rival iMinamoto clan were engaged in subjugating rebels 
in the eastern provinces 
the ancestors of Kiyo- 
mori, who remained in 
Kyoto, took advantiige 
of the situation gradually 
to establish their ascen- 
dancy over the rival clan. 
And this policy was con- 
tinued by Kiyomori. But 
his grasping after selfish 
power in this way led to 

bitter and deadly conflict ; for the Minamoto men deeply re- 
sented his action, and tried to cmsli him by force of arms. 
They were unable to do so, however, and though Kiyomori was 
by no means a great military leader, his side was continually 
victorious, until at last he found himself the most influential 
person in Japan. He was the first waiTior to assume the title 
of iJajodaijin (prime minister) which imtil then had been strict- 
ly limited to the heads of the Fujiwara family. 

Kiyomori was a man of arbitrary and violent nature, and 
ruthlessly crushed all whom he suspected of acting against him. 
Even emperors and princes were treated by him with the scant- 
iest ceremony ; and in consequence of his frequent abuse of 
power he was both hated and feared. His record, hoYfever, is 
not wholly bad, for he did good service to the maritime trade 
by establishing the port of Fukuwara near Kobe ; and also it is 
said, by excavating the Ondo strait, and making a short cut to 
Kure, now one of the principal naval stations in Japan. 



Few women have ever experienced such a rise and fall of 
fortune as Taira no Tokuko, or Kenrei Monin, as she is general- 
ly called. She was the daughter of Kiyomori, chief of the 
Taira clan, and was brought up with great care and tenderness. 
She grew up a very highly cultured and accomplished lady and 
was made the wife of the Emperor Takakura. Soon a son was 
born to her, and she was probably one of the happiest women 
in the land. 

'Jhis happiness did not last long, however, for misfortunes 
overtook her in quick succession. First her husband the Em- 
peror died at the age of twenty-one ; and the son, the child- 
Emperor Antoku, succeeded to the throne when only three years 
old. The next misfortune was the death of her father Kiyomo- 
ri, which happened at a most critical time. For Yoritomo and 
other members of the Minamoto clan had risen in revolt, and 
the death of Kiyomori left the Taira clan leaderless and unable 
to hold their own, so that at last the}' were compelled to flee 
from Kyoto with the child-Emperor and his mother. But mis- 
fortune continued to follow them, and after several defeats they 
were at last utterly destroyed in the great 
sea-fight at Dannoura (in 1185). 

At this time, seeing that her condition 
was quite hopeless, Kenrei Monin tried to 
drown herself with her son ; but she alone 
was rescued and taken to Kyoto. She was 
now the only member of the Taira family 
living in the world, and her loneliness can 
be imagined. She became a Buddhist nun, 
and died at the age of fifty-seven. Many pilgrims visit her 
tomb at Ohara, a quiet village about seven miles from Kyoto. 




Minamoto no Yosliitoino (A.D. 1123-1160), father of the 
famous brothers Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, was himself a 
great miUtarj leader, and played an important part in the 
earl}' stages of the long and bloody strife 
between the Taira and the Minamoto clans. 
In the civil war of the Hogen era (in 
1156) he first became prominent, when 
with Ki^'omori, chief of the Taira clan, 
he supported the Emperor Go-8hirakawa 
against the Ex-Emperor Sutoku, the rival 
claimant to the throne. In this conflict 
he was obliged to fight against his own 

father and brothers who were on the opposing side. And 
though victorious, the Minamoto clan was greatly weakened by 
the heavy losses it sustained. 

The crafty and ambitious Kiyomori was quick to turn this 
Minamoto disadvantage to his own account ; and establishing 
his ascendancy' over Yoshitomo, sought to grasp the reins of 
lX)wer in his own hands. In resentment of this artfulness, 
Yoshitomo at last rallied the Minamoto followers with the 
object of putting down the Taira clan. But fate was against 
him, and he suffered a crushing defeat. Yoshitomo and a few 
of his gallant retainers cut their way through the enemy, and 
escaped to Owari Province ; but were finally killed by treachery 
on tlieir own side. Most of his family were taken prisoners 
and ruthlessl}' slaughtered by Kiyomori; but Yoritomo, then 
only thirteen, and Yoshitsune, a mere baby, were spared. 
And by a striking tarn of fate it was these two who, years 
later, by their skill and energy overthrew tlieir hereditary foes, 
aud finally restored the fortunes of the Minamoto clan. 




Tokiwa Gozen, mother of the famous Yoshitsmie, was left a 
widow when quite young. Her husband, General Yoshimota 
of the Minamoto clan, was slain with all his men by Kiyomori 
and his followers of the Taira clan; and Tokiwa Gozen and 
her children were left defenceless. And seeing that it was 
Kiyomori's evident intention to exterminate all of the Minamoto 
clan that he could lay hands on, she took her three children 
and hid herself in a quiet country place, where she could not 
be found. 

But the relentless Kiyomori conceived a cruel plan to 
discover her whereabouts. He ordered her mother to be 
brought before him, and threatened to kill her by slow torture 
if she did not reveal her daughter's hiding-place. When news 
of this somehow reached Tokiwa Gozen, her terrible anxiety 
may be imagined. Unable to endure the thought of her 
mother's suffering, she took her three children and set out for 
the capital. And when at last she entered Kiyomori's pre- 
sence, she made an agonized appeal for mercy. 

Kiyomori's hard heart was touched by 
her appeal, and he was filled with admira- 
tion of her filial piety and rare beauty. 
He promised to spare the life of her mother 
and her children ; but on one condition : 
that she should become his wife ! For 
the sake of her loved ones, Tokiwa Gozen 
at last consented to this ; but she never let 
her son Yoshitsune forget the duty to his 
dead father demanded by the stern code of that day. How the 
young warrior later fulfilled this obligation, and restored the 
fortunes of the Minamoto clan is another story. 



Minamoto Yoritomo (A.D. 1147-1199) was the first of the 
great Shoguns, and the founder of the feudal geovrnment 
which continued up to the dawn of the present Meiji Era. 

He was the third son of 
Yoshitomo, Chief of the 
Minamoto clan. When he 
was about thirteen years old, 
his father and many of his 
relatives were killed in battle, 
when the Minamoto was de- 
feated by the Taira clan. On 
account of his youth, however, Yoritomo was spared ; but he 
was banished to Izu Province where he lived a very solitary 
life until he grew up to manhood. 

Meanwhile, the gross abuse of power on the part of the 
Taira family caused deep resentment among the nobles and 
military men of Kyoto. And at last Prince Mochihito rose 
against the Taira clan, and sent a message to Yoritomo urging 
him to raise an army. Yoritomo gladly responded to the call 
to arms, and this was the turning point in his life. 

Within a few years he was able practically to annihilate 
the Taira clan ; and at last became the chief war lord in Japan. 
He established a new government in Kamakura, and assumed 
the title of Shogun. From this time the word Shogun came 
to possess a new meaning, for thenceforward it signified in 
fact the actual ruler of Japan. 




Masa-ko, wife of the Sliogmi Yoritomo, was a remarkable 
woman. She was a daughter of Hojo Tokimasa, a x^owerful 
chieftain of Izu Province, and when twenty-one years old 
secretly married Yoritomo, who w^as then an exile in that 
province. But her father, knowing nothing of this, promised 
her hand to Taira no Kanetaka, the governor of Izu Province, 
w^ho lived in a castle neo^r by. When Masa-ko was told of this 
by her father, she was in a great dilemma. For on the one 
hand, to leave her husljand was impossible to her ; and on the 
other, to refuse to marry the governor would cause the ruin of 
her family. At last she agreed to her father's proposal ; but 
on the evening of the wedding, she managed to escape from 
the governor's house, and concealed herself in an out-of-the- 
w^ay place known only to Yoritomo. 

During his whole life Yoritomo loved and respected his 
faithful wife, who bore him two sons and two daughters. 
When Yoritomo died in 1199, she shaved her head after the 
custom of that age ; but she held 'firmly the reins of govern- 
ment for the sake of 
^'^ her young sons who 

succeeded Yoritomo 
as Shoguns. In fact, 
all through her life 

""^ power behind the 
government, and 
was therefore called 
"Ama-Shogun" (lit. the "Nun Shogun",. And dm^ng those 
years the country enjoyed unbroken peace, for none dared to 
oppose the government at Kamakura. She died in 12'25, at 
the age of sixty-seven. 



YOSHITSUNfe ON HORSEBACK (see page 63). 
About to descended the hill to attack the Taira army. 



The warfare between the Taira and the Minamoto clans in 
Japan may be compared to the Wars of the Roses carried on 
between York and Lancaster in England. For about fifty 
years these great Japanese clans, 
with varying fortunes, doggedly 
carried on the strife. Among the 
many heroes of the Minamoto clan 
none stands out more prominently 
than the gallant, straightforward 
and handsome hero Yoshitsune. He 
fought many fierce battles both on 
land and sea ; but his greatest achievement was the sea-fight 
at Dannoura near Shimonoseki, when he utterly destroyed the 
enemy, after driving them to this place from their stronghold 
in Kyoto. This was the first naval battle ever fought in 
Japan; and it took place about seven hundred years ago. 
Yoshiisune may be called the Admiral Togo of that day. 

The latter part of Yoshitsune 's short and brilliant career 

was unfortunately tragical. His elder brother Yoritomo was 

filled with envy of Yoshitsune's popularity, and determined to 

kill him. Whether he was really killed by Yoritomo or not, 

^,,.^^^^ is a question that historians 

'^>'^^^^v\^ are imable to decide. At 

.>^ all events, history says that 

^-^j^ ^ he was killed, together with 

' ^^ ' '• his wife and children, when 
he was thirty-one years old. 
"'"^ On the other hand, however, 

some people believe that he tcx^k to the sea with many faith- 
ful followers, and finally became a great king of Northern 
Asia. In fact, some even believe that Yoshitsime was none 
other than the terrible warrior Genghis Khan ! 




At Hacliimau temple in Kamakura, at tlie foot of tlie stone 
steps leading to the temple, there is a small square building 
painted red. This is a kind of stage where sacred music and 
dances are performed. 

About seven hundred years ago, when Yoritomo was Shogun, 
this building was used for a performance that is frequently 
mentioned in Japanese literature. Yoshitsune, younger brother 
of Yoritomo, had a beautiful and clever girl named Shizuka as 
his wife ; and she was very skilful in dancing and other arts. 
When Yoshitsune was obliged to leave Kamakura for the 
north, after incurring the displeasure of his brother, Shizuka 
remained alone in Kamakura. Yoritomo and his wife Masa-ko, 
having heard of her fame as a dancer, requested her to give 
a performance on this stage at Hachiman temple ; and of 
course Shizuka was reluctantly compelled to obey the request 
of the Shogmi. Hundreds of Daimyos and other nobles were 
also invited to see the performance. Shizuka faced the audi- 
ence fearlessly, and began her famous dance. At the same 
time she sang two songs which she had composed, expressing 
her 3^earning after the loved husband from whom she had been 

Yoritomo got extremely angry at this, 
saying that it was outrageous to make 
songs about a traitor like Yoshitsune, and 
to sing them in jjublic. His wife Masa-ko, 
however, deeply sympathised with Shizuka, 
and finally appeased the anger of Yori- 
tomo. Afterwards some beautiful gifts 
were presented to Shizuka by Yoritomo 
and Masa-ko. 

This famous historical episode forms the subject of many 
Japanese pictures and dramas. 



l^ancing before the Sliogun at Hachiman in Kamakura. 



Musaslii Bo Benkei, the semi-mythical and favom:ite hero 
of Japanese children, was a gigantic priest who became a 
faitliful retainer of Yoshitsmie. His thrilling exploits are 
tirelessly told in story and in song ; and if 
the tales of his prowess are not all true, 
they are at least well invented. 

Though a priest and the son of a priest, 
Benkei had little taste for such a mild 
career. At an early age his wild spirit 
broke out ; and after running amuck in his 
monastery, and setting the monks in an 
uproar, he sallied forth in search of adven- 
ture. He determined to become a mighty warrior ; and swore 
that by personal conquest, he would capture a thousand swords. 
For this x>urpose he took his stand nightly on the Gojo Bridge 
in Kyoto, and challenged every Samurai who happened to 
pass by. And in this way, it is said, he fought and conquered 
nine hundred and ninety-nine men, and took away their 

But one night while waiting in the moonlight, he met his 
master. It was the gallant Yoshitsune who accepted the 
challenge this time, and gained the victory. The dramatic 
tale of their encounter is too long to record here. Suffice it to 
say that Benkei, being fairly beaten by Yoshitsune, vowed to 
devote himself ever after to the service of this brave young 
knight. And right loyally he did so, and kept the vow he 





The men of the Taira clan were on the whole very effemi- 
nate and weak both in body and mind. This was no doubt 
due to the courtier's life that they had lived for many years 
in Kyoto. In the last years of their prosperity this effeminacy 
had reached the climax, and they were warriors in name only. 
Even when in camp they made elaborate toilets; and spent 
much of the time in dancing and dissipation. It was therefore 
no wonder that they could not resist the onslaught of Yoshi- 
tsune and his veteran warriors from the eastern provinces. 

There were some exceptions, how^ever, and notable among 
these was Taira no Noritsune, a man. of great bravery and 
skill in archery. During the battle of Yashima, when fighting 
at the head of his followers, he almost succeeded in killing 
Yoshitsune with his own hands. But the faithful retainers of 
Yoshitsune, seeing their master's danger, covered him with 
their bodies and thus saved his life, though several of them fell 
pierced by the terrible shafts of Noritsune. 

Again, at the battle of Dannoura, 
when Yoshitsune's ship happened to 
pass nearby, Noritsune jumped on 
board, bent on a personal encounter 
with his enemy ; but the light-footed 
Yoshitsune also did some jumping 
and thus evaded the sudden on- 
slaught. Then, the disappointed Noritsune, after laying about 
him with his sword till he could fight no longer, took two of 
the enemy's strong men in his grasp, and hurling himself into 
the sea, perished with them in the water. 





Nasn no Yoichi may be called the William Tell of Japan ; ^ 
and altliougli he lived about seven hmidred years ago, his na 
wonderful feat of archery is still remembered ; and the story 
of his skill with the bow is one _-^^-^-~r>^ BBL 

that all Japanese children have 
been told. 

When Yoshitsime attacked the 

army of the Taira clan at 

Yashima, the enemy resisted 

stubbornly at first and repelled several attacks, with heavy 
casualties on both sides. Towards evening both armies were 
very tired, and it was during a pause in the fighting that this 
incident occurred. In the sportive spirit which men sometimes 
show even in time of deadly warfare, the Taira side sent out 
a boat with a young and beautiful maiden in it. And nailed 
to a pole set up in the bow of the boat was a scarlet fan with 
a golden sun in the centre. When the boat drew near to the 
beach where the Minamoto warriors were ranged, the maiden 
beckoned to them and challenged their best marksman to 
shoot with a bow and arrow at the fan. 

Yoichi, a lad of seventeen and small of stature, was chosen 
for the attempt. He drove his horse forward into the sea, 
and stopped several hundred yards from the boat. Very care- 
fully he took aim, knowing that to miss would bring discredit 
on his side and on himself ; and ;then with bow bent to the 
utmost he let ^y. The arrow flew straight to the mark and 
struck the fan just one inch above the rivet. For a moment 
the fan fluttered in the air, and then fell into the sea, amidst 
thunders of generous applause from the watching armies on 
both sides. 



Few more calm and lovely spots may be fomid in Japan 
tlian tlie shores of Suma and Maiko, tlie famous watering 
places near Kobe. But about seven hundred years ago this 
peaceful neighbourhood was the scene of a fierce and bloody 
battle in which the Minamoto defeated and finally crushed the 
Taira clan (in 1184). 

Most of the Taira fugitives took to boats and attempted 
to escape ; but the victorious Minamoto men were hotly in 
piursuit of them. Just then, a richly attired and noble young 
warrior of the Taira clan, named Atsumori, was seen hasten- 
ing towards a boat; but an old warrior named Kumagai 
Naozan^ rushed between him and the sea and challenged him 
to combat. The yomig man at once accepted the challenge ; 
and very soon a fierce duel commenced. 

After a hard struggle Kumagai finally triumphed, and with 
his opponent down on the beach, was on the point of dealing 
a death blow with his dagger when under the helmet he caught 
sight of his enemy's youthful and handsome face. The old 
warrior was much moved, as he had a son of about the same 

age as this noble youth ; and out of 
s^^mpathy as a father, he tliought to 
spare the young man and let him 
escape. But seeing that the soldiers 
of his side were swarming on the 
beach, both knew that there was no 
hope; so Atsumori begged to be 
put to death lest Kumagai should merely be branded as a 
coward, if he tried to let him escape. And thus the old 
warrior had to perform the cruel task ; but he was so touched 
at heart that when the war was over, he shaved his head and 
spent the rest of his life as a j^riest. 


EN no MORITO'S FA'rAT> DEED (see page 75)- 
(Fainted by O^atii (kkko). 



The tr'ie story of Eudo Morito forms a romantic tragedy 

the like of which one does not often find even in fiction. 

When he was a yomig knight in the service of the Ex-Emperor 

Toba, he fell in love with a beautiful 

girl named Kesa whom he happened 

to meet ; but on making enquiries 

he found that she was already the 

wife of a court official named Wata- 

nalie Wataru. So great was his 

infatuation, however, that regardless 

of everything, he determined to take her from her husband and 

make her his own wife. He tried all means to induce the 

mother of Kesa to have her divorced, and swore that if she 

did not do so he would kill both of them. 

Knowing the desperate nature of Endo, the mother at last 

an despair api)ealed to her daughter. Kesa knew^ that to leave 

the husband she loved was out of the question ; but thinking to 
save her mother, she decided U]^x)n a terrible solution of the 
dilemma. She called Endo to her mother's house, and told 
liim she would contrive that night to have her husband wash 
his long hair. " Enter the house stealthily," she said, "and 
when 3'ou feel the damp hair of the sleeper, strike ! and / shall 
he freer 

Secretly at midnight Endo entered the room ; and groi)ing 
in the darkness his hand at length grasped the long wet liair. 
With one thrust of his dagger he dealt a death blow, and fled 
into the night. But it was Kesa and not her husband that he 
had mistakenly slain. 

The overwhelming grief and repentance of Endo sliook 
hiiu to the very depths oi his being. Afterwards he became 
the famous priest Mongaku, and si)ent the rest of his life in 
trying to help the Aveak and the oppressed. He was greatly 
esteemed by Yoritomo, the first of the Shogmis. 





Saigjo, the ]_x)et-priest, lived about seven Iimiclred yeare; 

ago. He is considered to be one of the best writers of 

fanJca, or short poems of five lines; and his poetical works 

have been collected into a book called Yamoga-sJm. The iairJca 

was the favorite vehicle of poetry ; and the 

lines consist of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7, syllables, 

making 31 syllables in all. The poems of 

Saigyo are remarkable for their melody, 

their depth of meaning, and genuineness 

of feeling. 

He was born in 1118, and was originally 
a warrior in the service of the Ex-Emperor 
Toba. But he soon became deeply in- 
terested in Buddhism which was very flourishing in those 
days ; and at the age of twenty-tlu-ee he shaved his head, and 
leaving his wife and children became a priest. Then began 
his wandering life which continued for fifty years, during which 
he composed innumerable poems prompted by what he saAv and 

His utter indifference to wealth and wordly things is fitly 
shown by the following well-known fact. Once when visiting 
Kamakura, he w^as entertained by the Shogun Yoritomo, wha 
held Saigyo in high esteem. And when Saigyo was leaving, 
Yoritomo presented him with a beautiful piece of carving — 
a cat done in silver. But when Saigyo got outside, he relieved 
himself of what he considered merely a burden by giving the 
cat to some children who were playing in. the street. 


Preachinc bv the wavside in Kamakura. 




In the moral code of Japan loyalty and filial x^iety have tt 
always been given great importance. In fact, these two 
virtues are very closely related : for if a child is not loyal and 
olxxlient to the head and heart of 
his household, he is not likely to 
be loyal to the head of the State. 

In the feudal days, it was con- 
sidered the duty of a Samurai, to 
avenge the murder of his parent or 
his lord. This was called katald- 

uch'iy and was regarded as an obligation in those days. The 
first and most notable example of Imtaki-ucM that is recorded 
liapi:)ened in 1193. A great Daimyo named Kudo Suketsune 
had ruthlessly killed the father of two brothers named Juro 
and GorO. And these two boys determined to avenge their 
fatlier's cruel death. 

They waited more than ten years for an opx)ortunity ; and 
^it last it came. Yoritomo and many Daimyos and retainers 
were out hunting near Mt. Fuji ; and the Soga brothers, hearing 
that Kudo Suketsune was a meml>er of the party, decided tliat 
the time had come. They escaped notice by mixing with the 
retainei-s ; and when night came, they entered the tent of their 
fatlier's enemy, and called him to a stern account. But in 
taking the life of Suketsune they also sacrificed their own : for 
Juro was killed immediately, and Goro the yomiger was taken 
prisoner and put to death by Yoritomo. This tragedy has 
formed the subject of many dramas and stories, and is very 
"well known to all Japanese. 



Nicliiren was a great religious reformer, aud founded a new 
sect of Buddhism called the Hokke-shu. He was by nature 
very vehement and combative, and his life in man^^ resj^ects 
resembled that of Martin Luther. 

He was born in 1222 at Aikawa, a small seaside village in 
Awa Province ; and at the age of twelve, became an acolyte 
in a neighbouring Buddhist temple of the Jo-do sect, and 
studied so hard that, by the age of twenty, he far outstripjxid 
the head priest in knowledge of Buddhist doctrine. But he 
gradually became dissatisfied with the teachings he had 
learned, and determined to seek the true faith in other sects, 
— for there were more than ten great sects existing in Japan at 
that time. 

First he went to Kamakura, and studied the teachings of 

the Zen (dhydna) sect, and then w^ent to Kyoto, Kara, Mt. 
Koya and other centres of Buddhism, and spent twelve years 
in study and discussion. But in his opinion 
none of these sects were conforming to 
the true teachings of Buddha; so at 
last, when he was thirty-two years old, he 
founded a new sect of his own called the 
Hokke sect. And from this time until his 
death, in 1282, he devoted all his time 
and energy to the propagation of his belief. 
He was so vehement and aggressive that 
he w\as twice exiled by the authorities, and once was on the 
point of being beheaded. But before he died, the Hokke sect 
liad spread throughout the country ; and even now it is one of 
the most influential sects in Japan. 


THE EMPEROR GO-DAIGO (see page 84). 



111 the history of Japan, the name of Hojo 
Tokimnne will long be remembered as that of a 
patriot who did great service to his country. 
About six Inmdred years ago, in China there arose 
a dangerous enemy to Japan called Kublai Khan 
whose conquests had extended even to Chosen 
which was a very weak country. Having invaded 
Chosen, Kublai Khan next began to plan the 
invasion of Japan. This was a very critical time 
in this country's history, comparable to that of the war between 
Greece and Persia, or to that of the attempted invasion of 
England by the Spanish with their famous Armada, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth. 

At this time Hojo Tokimmie was the chief administrator 
mider the Shogun ; and when Kublai Khan sent messengers to 
Japan making unreasonable de- 
mands on this country, Tokimune 
met them with a stern refusal. 

At length, Kublai Khan prepared 
a great fleet, and sent about a 
hundred thousand men to invade 
Japan (in 1281). But the ships 
met the same fate as that of the Invincible Armada, and 
similar to that of the Russian Baltic Squadron. In fact, out 
of the great host sent to the shore of Kyushii, only three of the 
men remained to tell the tale of the disaster. 







After Yoritomo laid the foundation of feudal gcn^ernment 
in Kamakura, the Emperor in Kyoto became a mere puppet ; 
and for the six hundred and eighty-two years during which 
the feudal system continued, the Emperor remained simply the 
nominal ruler of the country. 

But about five hundred and seventy years ago, an attempt 
to recover the actual ruling power was made by the Emperor 
Go-Daigo. At first fortune favoured him ; and with the aid of 
Kusunoki Masashige, Nitta Yoshisada, and many other loyal 
chieftains, he was able to destroy Ho jo Takatoki and the 
government represented by him. 

It was only a transient success, however, and soon matters 
became worse than before. Perhaps the time was not yet 
ripe for the ending of tlie feudal system. At all events, the 
majority of the feudal lords rose in revolt against the Emperor 
and his new government. And the crafty Ashikaga Takauji, 
chief of the revolters, in order to offset Go-Daigo, took one of 
the royal princes and made him Emperor, with himself the 
power behind the throne. Thus 
there existed two Emperors at the 
same time, and for about fifty years 
each struggled for supremacy. 

The latter part of the Emperor 
Go-Daigo's life was very unhappy. 
He was compelled to leave Kyoto, 
and died in retreat at Yoshino in the proviirce of Yamato. 
Ever}" year thousands of people visit the tomb of this Emj^eror, 
when they go to see the Yoshino cherry blossoms, which are 
undoubtedly the best in all Japan. 






lu Kaiiiakura there stands a beautiful Sliinto sliriuo called 
Oto-noMiya, sacred to tlie heroic soul of Prince Morinaga. 
He ^vas l^)rn in 1308, and was the third son of the Emperor Go- 
Paigr). In his youth he was much 
loved and trusted by his father, and 
was allowed to take part in the Em- 
peror's attempt to overthrow the Ho jo 
regent in Kamakura. During this 
conflict Prince Morinaga showed 
much bravery and intelligence, and 
did great service. In fact, it was he and Kusunoki Masashige 
who lx)re the brunt of the strife in its early stages. And when 
xit last the Hojo family was virtually exterminated (in 1333)> 
and a new government established in Kyoto, Prince Morinaga 
was given the title of Shogun. This was a revival of the origi- 
nal meaning of the word Shogun, that is, simply commander-in- 

In the meantime, however, the crafty and ambitious Takauji 
had l)egun to harbour rebellious projects against the new 
government ; for he keenly desired to l)ecome Shogun himself, 
and regarded Morinaga as the principle obstacle in the path of 
]iis ambition. At last, by a dastardly intrigue, he contrived to 
have Prince Morinaga accased of treachery to the Emperoi^, 
So the prince was arrested and sent to Kamakura where he was 
imprisoned in a dungeon, and afterwards cruelly mm'dered by 
an assassin sent l)y Ashikaga (in 1335). Even now the cave 
Avhere he was imi)risoned and killed may be seen, just behind 
the shrine called Oto-no-Miva. 

d^/: itcP^i^cPa ♦o^cJ •cfe*^^ itd^i^ 




Asliikaga Takauji, the first of the Ashikaga Shoguns, was 
l)orii in 13()(). He was a direct descendant of Hachimantaro 
Yoshiie, the famous chief of the Minamoto clan, and for genera- 
tions his ancestors were great Daimyos in the province of Shi- 
motsnke. Takauji was always very proud of his good lineage, 
and his great ambition was to become a militar^^ leader like Yo- 

An opportunity for him to advance his hidden project at last 
came, when in 1331 the Emperor Go-Daigo rose against the 
Hojo feudal government at Kamakura. Takauji was appointed 
commander of Hojo's army ; but at the last moment, instead of 
fighting against the Emperor, he sent a message offering to 
submit. This act greatly pleased the Enn)eror, and when the 
war prizes were distributed, Takauji got by far the best. 

But Takauji was always for himself : so a few years later (in 
1335), together Avitli a large band of discontented feudal chiefs, 
he rose in revolt against the Emperor ; and 
in the battles that followed, the forces of 
Takauji were so completely victorious that 
the Emperor and court were obliged to flee 
from Kyoto to the mountains of Yoshino. 
Meanwhile the crafty Takauji put a new 
^ ^ Emperor named Komyo Tenno on the 

fK^\ - throne, against the legitimate Emperor (Go- 
^^ ^ Daigo) ; and strife between these two rival 
courts lasted for over fifty years. 
Takauji became Shogun in 13S8 ; and died in 1358, at the 
age of fifty-three. The nation has never forgiven his treaeher- 
ous conduct towards the Emperor Go-Daigo, 



<sr»r> tin crt^ n i 



One of tlie famous places in Kobe is the large slirine known ^^ 
as Nanko-slia, built in honour of that embodiment of loyalty 
and heroism, Kusunoki Masashige. At the time when this hero ^^ 
lived, neary six hundred years ago, there was bitter strife 
going on in the Imi)erial Household ; and this continued 0^ W 

for more than fifty years. 

Of the two rival Emperors, Go-Daigo w\is the legiti- 
mate one ; but his side was losing ground year after year 
until at last it retained only a few provinces in the 
neighbourhocxl of Kyoto. And it was only through the 
heroic efforts of Masashige and a few other loyal chief- 
tains that the Emperor was able for many years to hold 
the tlnnme, and to wit]istand the onslauglit of his 
formidable antagonists. 

At last, however, even the dauntless Masashige found 
himself in a desperate condition. Takauji, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the enemy, came to attack Kyoto w ith 
an army of half a million men ; while Masashige could 
muster barely eight hundred to fight against this mighty 
host. He decided, however, to fight to the end ; and to die as 
he had lived in loyal service to his Sovereign. Just l)efore the 
battle, he called his son, then only eleven years old, and after 
instructing him \r> devote his life to the cause of the Em}:>eror, 
gave him a golden dagger and bade him farewell. In the battle 
that followed, on the banks of the Minatogawa, a river near 
Kobe, his followers were finally reduced to only seventy-tliree 
men. Then, seeing that all was over, Masashige retired to a 
farmer's house near-by, and falling up^n his sword he died (in 



Nitta Yosliisada was a great cliieftain whose name will always 
be associated with that of Kusunoki Masashige ; as tliese two 
devoted men were the principal supporters of the Emperor Go- 
Daigo. Nitta was a Daimyo of Kotsuke Province and was a 
descendant of Minamoto no Yoshiie, — being thus of the same 
stock as Ashikaga Takauji, his rival and opponent. 

At first he was the commander of an army sent by Hojo 
against the Emperor Go-Daigo ; but instead of fighting, he sent 
a message to Prince Morinaga offering to go over to the Em- 
peror's side. And this offer being accepted, he quickly retm-n- 
ed to his province and raised an arm}' to fight against the Hojo 
family at Kamakura. 

With this force he attacked Kamakura from three sides ; but 
the Hojo army resisted with such desperate valour that one of 
Nitta's armies suffered a great defeat. Then Nitta decided to 
take his whole force round a steep promontory jutting out into 
the sea ; and the story goes that he flung 
his sword into the water and prayed the 
Sea- God to withdraw the waves that his 
men might pass. A few hours later Kama- 
km*a was reduced to ashes, and the fate of 
the Hojo family was sealed. 

When Ashikaga Takauji rose in revolt 
two years later (in 1335), Nitta and Kusu- 
~~— =^ — ^- noki and other patriots supjx)rted the Em- 

peror Go-Daigo and fought many desperate battles against the 
rebels. In 1388 he died fighting bravely, wlien thirty-eight 
years old. 


(At Imamuragasaki, near Kamakura). 



-!— — »^^» i?9L_A- 

Ivusniioki Masatsura, son of Masasliige, was onh' eleven 
3ears old, when the news came that his father had died fighting 
in a fierce battle at Minatogawa near Kobe. And the boy's 
grief was so great that he actually pre- vVj^ 

pared to commit harakiri with the 
golden dagger that his father had given 
him when parting. But 
fortimately he was stopped 
in time by his mother. 
" What a weak-minded cow- 
ard you are ! " she cried. " Yomr father gave you that dagger 
to defend your Emperor against the traitor Takauji, — not to kill 
yoiu-self to no piu^pose." Masatsura at once saw the justice of 
his mother's rebuke, and humbly begged her pardon. 

When he grew to manhood, he entered the service of the Em- 
l)eror Go-Murakami, son of Go-Daigo, and fought very bravely. 
Although somewhat slender and weak in bod}', he had great 
military talent ; and gained miany remarkable victories against 
overwhelming odds. At last, however, the enemy sent over 
sixty-eight thousand men against his force of barely tliree 
thousand. Nevertheless Masatsiu-a resolved to fight to the 
death. He bade farewell to the Emperor at Yoshino ; and 
wrote a famous poem on the wall of a temple still standing near 
the tomb of the Emperor Go-Daigo. 

In the desperate battle that followed at Shijo Nawate (in 
1348), IVIasatsura fell after a brave fight, when only twenty- three 
years old. A beautiful shrine called Shijo-Nawate Jinja still 
stands as a monument to this heroic young loyalist. 





Masatsura was iKjt only a great warrior, Ijut also an excep- 
tionally refined and noble-minded man, — a model husid in every 
way. Tlie following well-known incidents in his career throw 
much light on his character. At Urimio near Osaka he fought 
with Yamana Tokiuji, a general sent by Ashikaga Takauji, and 
gained a complete victory. In the hot chase that followed, 
many of the enemy fell into the river ; and the generous Masa- 
tsura immediately ordered his followers to rescue the drowning 
men. About five hundred lives were thus saved, and Masatsura 
gave them food and clotlies and treated them so kindly that 
many of them Ijecame his devoted followers. Indeed, they are 
said to have died ^\\i\\ him at the battle of Shijo Naw^ate. 

In the court of the Emperor Go-Da igo there w^as a clever and 
beautiful maid of honour named Ben no Naiji. This girl was 
once kidnapped by a band of ruffians sent by one of Takauji's 
generals named Ko no Moronawo. But the gallant Masatsura, 
meeting the scoundrels on the road, rescued the lady and escort- 
ed her safely to the Emi)eror's court at Mt. Yoshino. The 

Emperor was so pleased with Masa- 
,^^^ ^-tc^^r^hs ^ tsiu-a's exploit that he told him to 

«^^i^^^^*"*5^ take the maiden as his wife. But 
Masatsura politely declined. Perhaps 
lie had some presentiment that he w-ould die soon, and did not 
wish to leave her a widow. As for the girl, although she did 
not marry him, she shaved her head at the death of Masatsura, 
^nd spent the rest of her life in a nunnery. 

■ — ^.^g^ ■' 




Kojirna Takaiiori tlie devoted loyalist, with Kusmioki and 
Nitta, fouglit for the cause of the Emperor Go-Daigo against 
the Ho jo, and later against the Ashikaga. When the Emperor 
Oo-Daigo was taken prisoner by the j|^su.vj5^w^ ^.^.\y ^ 
Hojo (in 1332), and w^as being convey- ^y^^jT^ 
ed to the island of Oki as an exile, ^JNd^^ Atn^^^ 
Kojirna — then a chieftain in Bingo ^fj^ Mfe^ ^^^' 
Province— determined to rescue his mU^m^^^S^''- -y/'if^-'' 
unfortunate Sovereign. With a pick- '^^^S^M^pi^^^SEZ^ 
ed body of men he hastened to head -^ ^^^^ ^•^" ' '' 
them off ; but the enemy hearing of this, evaded him by taking 
a different route. Kojima then decided to follow alone ; and 
disguising himself as a farmer, at last overtook the train of the 
royal captive, and sought for an opportunity secretly to com- 
municate with him. 13ut owing to the strict watch that was 
kept, he had no chance to approach the Emi)eror, so one night 
he stealthily entered the enclosure of the house where Go-Daigo 
was sleeping, and removing a portion of the bark, he wrote on 
a cherry tree two lines of a Chinese poem expressing deathless 
devotion. Next morning Avlien Go-Daigo read it, his heart was 
greatly cheered by this token of lo^'alt}'. 

Ill the following year, when Go-Daigo escaped from the 
island Jind landed on the coast of Hoki, Kojima was one of the 
first A\'lio rallied to his support ; and later, with the faithful 
Nitta, he distinguished himself in many battles against the 
overwhelming Ashikaga forces. And when at last Nitta and 
Kusuiioki were slain, and all hope had to be abandoned, Kojima 
shaved his head and entered retirement in some place that is 



Asliikaga Yosliimitsu, the third of the Ashikaga Shognns, 
was a grandson of Takauji. When he succeeded his father Yo- 
shimori as Shogun (in 1368), he was only eleven years old ; but 
he had an excellent guardian named HosokaAva Yoriynki who 
helped him in every way. Yosliimitsu, in spite of many faults 
in his character, was a man of uncommon ability, and during 
his administration the Asliikaga Shogunate reached the summit 
of its power and influence. 

His chief merit was the settlement of the long discord in the 
Imperial dynasties. The Southern D^'nast}^, descended from 
the Emperor Go-Daigo, had by this time greatly declined in 
power ; but still claimed its legitimacy against the Northern 
Dynasty supported by the Shogimate. Yosliimitsu determined 
to make an end of this, and sent armies to crush the supporters 
of the Southern Court. And when this was accomplished, he 
induced the Southern Emperor, Go-Kameyama, to hand over to 
the Emperor Go-Komatsu of the Northern 
Dynasty, the tliree Sacred Treasures — the 
insignia of the ruling Emperor of Japan. 
This happened just fifty-seven years after 
the escape from Kyoto of the Emperor Go- 

Y^oshimitsu did good service as a patron 
of foreign commerce ; but his luxurious 
temperament gradually got the better of 
him. He retired in 1393, in favour of his son Yoshimochi, and 
tmtil his death in 1408, he lived an epicurean life in his gor- 
geous palace called Kinkakuji (lit. " golden pavilion "}, which 
still stands, and is one of the principal sights of Kyoto. 





Of the many schools of painting that have appeared in Japan, 
the most important was midoubtedly the Kano school. The 
fomider of this school, Kano Masanobu, lived about four hund- 
red and fifty years ago, and first became 
famous by making pictures for the Sho- 
gun Yoshimasa who was a great patron 
of fine arts. His son Motonobu was still 
better, and he and Sesshii are considered 
the two greatest masters of the Ashikaga 
age. In fact, for a time the Kano family 
almost monopolized the artistic world of 

The fifth of the family, named Yetoku, 
was specially patronized by Nobunaga 
and Hideyoshi ; and his grandson, named 

Tanyu, served the Tokugawa Shogunate as master of painting. 
Tanyii studied assiduously the masterpieces of Japanese and 
Chinese painting, and finally originated a style of his own that 
surpassed almost all in taste and elegance. He was certainly 
the greatest painter of the Tokugawa age. He died in 1674 at 
the age of seventy-tlu:ee. 

Tanyu's two brothers Naonobu and Yasunobu, and his adopt- 
ed son Masunobu were also distinguished artists, and each 
founded a school of his own. Among their followers, however, 
no specially great painter appeared until the present Meiji era, 
when Kano Hogai and Hashimoto Gaho added great lustre to 
the Kano school. Both of these masters died quite recently. 







Kano Motonobu, the great artist, was very inucli of a Bolie- 
mian. One day, in his penniless wanderings, he came to a 
temple named Ikkoku-ji at Sakai near Osaka, and asked to be 
allowed to stay there for a time. The head 
priest consented to this, but asked him in 
return to paint a picture. After two or three 
years, someone complained to the head priest 
that the artist was idling away his time doing 
nothing. But the old priest only smiled. At 
last one night some of the young priests 
peeped through the shoji into the artist's \ \ 
room. They found him dancing nearly \^ 
naked before a lamp — flinging his arms / 
about, and watching his moving shadow 
on a screen. They went and told the head 
priest that the artist had gone mad ; but the 
old man only smiled again. 

A few days later, the artist announced that 
his picture was completed, — so they all went 
to his room. There were twenty-five cranes 
painted on a screen ; and the sense of life-like 
movement that he had given them filled every- 
one with wonder and admiration. Next day 
the artist left the temple and continued his 
wanderings. About three weeks later at a 
place in the Hakone mountains about two 
hundred miles from the temple, he came upon 
a tree very like the one he had painted with 
the cranes on the screen. But this tree had an 
extra branch that the artist considered an im- 
provement. 80 he tramped all the way back 
to the temple ; and while the priests were at 
prayers, he silently entered his old room, and 
added another ^"^ < 

branch to the •■'(T^ 

picture. Then CVC&t ^ 

again he disap- — ■;^'^^'^^^^±}^'7<~=^^^y< ~^\o a^ 

peared. ^ 








Sessliu was the greatest landscape painter that has ever ap- 
peared in Japan. He was born in the beginning of the fifteenth 
century, and when quite young he entered a Buddhist temple 
and became a priest. 

When about forty years old, he went 
to China for further study of the art he 
so much loved ; but in the whole of China 
he could not find a master that satisfied 
him. He was, however, greatly pleased 
with the scenery of China, and made in- 
numerable sketches. His landscape 
pictures are quite unique, and surpass all 
others in their pmre taste and rich varie- 
ty, as well as in their simple yet con- 
summate workmanship. His pictures 

were greatly admired by the Cliinese. Even the Emperor 
heard of his fame, and asked him to paint a landscape on the 
wall of a room in the palace. After a stay of five jesirs in 
China, he returned home (in 1463), and lived for many years in 
a Buddhist temple called Unkoku-ji in Yamaguchi Province ; 
and afterwards in the province of Iwami. He died in 1506, at 
the age of eighty-seven. 

Although Sesshii was such a great painter, he lived the life 
of a priest to the end, and cared nothing for worldly fame or 
monetary gain. When the Shogun Yoshimasa offered him a 
high position as official painter, he thanked him but declined, 
and recommended Kano Masanobu, who became the founder of 
the influential Kano School (see page 103). 





The classic drama called No originated with the Kagura, or 
sacred dance, and developed to its present form in the Ashikaga 
era, under the patronage of the Shognn Yoshimitsu. The 
founders were named Kwan-ami and his son Sei-ami. The 
successive Shoguns of the Ashikaga family were all enthusiastic 
patrons of No, and it came to be considered indispensable on 
ceremonial and festive occasions. In the course of half a 
century or so, five different schools of No appeared, each having 
its own specialty. 

Over two hundred of these No dramas remain, of which the 
most notable are : Takasago (the name of a place), Hagoromo 
("The Robe of Feathers "), Yuya (a lady's name), Matsukaze 
(" The Wind in the Pine Trees "), Yamauha (" The Witch "), 
HacJd no Ki (" The Tree in a Pot "j, etc., etc. 
These compositions were written mainly by Bud- 
dhist priests whose names are not recorded ; and 
are very simple in construction — only two or tlu'ee 
persons appearing on the stage. 

Performers of No were held in great esteem, and 
such famous men as Hideyoshi and leyasu often 
took part in these plays. During the Tokugawa 
era, every Daimyo had a No stage in his residence ; 
but at last, owing to political and social disturbances,, 
it came to be neglected until about twenty years 
ago, when a revival took place. At present one can 
see No performances frequently in Tokyo and in 
many other large cities. 
The Kybgen is a kind of farce, usually accompanying the No- 
plays as a mirth-provoking contrast. There are three well- 
known schools of Kybgen called Okm-a, Izumi, and Sagi. 




The art of sword making iu Japan reached its highest excel- 
lence alx)ut six hundred years ago. And among the many ex- 
pert sword-smiths of the feudal da^^s, Masamune and Muramasa 
were considered to be the greatest masters of 
the art. 

About their personal career nothing 
is definitely known, bej'ond the fact 
that Masamune lived in Kamakura, 
and Muramasa in Kuwana. 

But the swords they made stiU remain ; and in their sharpness 
and tempering they are far superior to anything that is made 
at the present day. 

No doubt it was the manner of their making that accounts for 
this. For in the old days the making of swords was done by 
craftsmen who toiled at the forge with other motives and ideals 
than those of the workmen of to-day, and it may be that some- 
thing of themselves was wrought into the fibre of their matcliless 
blades. For not merely skill of eye and hand -svas considered 
needful ; but also sterling character and manly worth. And so 
it came about that such work was regarded almost in the light 
of a religious ceremony ; and the smith would purify himself 
before approaching his honoured task. 

No wonder that such swords were gi-eatly valued. In fact, a 
Samurai would sometimes give all his fortime for a single 
sword ; and families even to-day still hold as priceless heirlooms 
their Masamune blades. 





Ikkyu, the famous priest, was a man of remarkable w it, and 
very many stories are told of Lis quaint sayings and doings. 
He lived in the middle of the Ashikaga era, about four himdred 
and fifty years ago, and was a son of the Emperor Go-Komatsu. 
When quite young he was sent to a great Buddhist temple of 
the Zen sect called Daitokuji, which still stands in the subm*bs 
of Kyoto. Later on he became the head priest of this temple, 
and his skill in argument was considered to be without parallel 
even among priests of the Zen sect, who are usually very strong 

One day when he was travelling in the country, a young man 
whose father had just died asked Ikkyii to perform the ceremony 
called indo (^j^), w^hich is supposed to guide the soul of the 
dead to the other world. Ikkyu was shown into the room 
where the open cofiin was placed, and then he told the young 
man to bring a hammer and strike the body on the head. The 
yoimg man did as he was directed. 

" Strike harder," said Ikkyu each time the 
yomig man struck,— until at last he struck so 
hard that he actually made a hole in the head. 
" Well, what shall I do now ? " 
enquired the astonished young 

" What did your father say? " 
asked Ikkyu. 
" He said nothing," said the young man. " How could he say 
anything? He is dead." 

" If you are satisfied that he is dead, that's all there is about 
it," replied Ikkyu. " Neither you nor I can do anything more 
for him." 



Tlie famous fencing masters of the feudal days were most of 
them men of high culture, very polite in manner and dignified 
in bearing. In a word, they were gentlemen before experts ; 
and were models for the Samurai 
class — of which in fact, they formed 
the backbone. Many of them were 
students of Zen (see page 211) ; and 
this aided not only in strengthening 
the mind and will, but also in giving 
them that calmness in emergency 
and general poise for which they were particularly noted. 

The most famous fencers of the Ashikaga era were Miyamoto 
Musashi, Yagyu Muneyoshi, and Tsukahara Bokuden who be- 
came a teacher of the Ashikaga Shoguns. During the Toku- 
gawa era fencing was much cultivated. In fact, this may be 
called the golden age of fencers : for they were held in great 
respect and given high positions. And as fencing was an in- 
disi^ensable accomplishment for Samurai, there was a continual 
demand for expert teachers : so naturally many masters of the 
art appeared, and a number of different schools grew up, — each 
with some specialty. The most famous of these schools was 
called the Shinkagc-ryu^ founded by Yagyu Miisuyoslii who 
taught the art to several of the Shoguns. 

Since the Restoration, however, fencing has greatly declined, 
though it is still practised in the Army and Navy, and also 
among students and ix)licemen. 







Tsukawara Bokuden, the great fencer, was once crossing Lake 
Biwa in a ferry-boat with several other passengers. One of 
these was an unusually large and ferocious looking Samurai, 
who talked very big about his prowess as a fencer. He 
finally turned on Bokuden and remarked patronizingly, " I see 
you're a Samurai, so I suppose you know something about 
fencing. What school do you belong to ? " Bokuden mildly 
replied, " I've learned a little ; but I belong to the * free hand 
school ' (muteJcatsuryu). I don't need to use my sword. I 
overcome my opponents with my hands only." 

" You do, eh," sneered the big Samurai ; '' well, I never heard 
of your school, but suppose we try a bout of it right here ? " 

" We'd better fight over there," replied Bokuden, pointing to 
a small islet in the middle of the lake. The tall Samurai 
agreed to this, and gave an order to the boatman ; and when 
the boat came within a few yards of the islet, he impatiently 
sprang ashore. Then Bokuden picked up 
a long boat pole, and everyone supposed he 
was going to pole-jump after him. But 
instead of this he calmly shoved off, and 
left the big fellow stranded on the islet 
shore. '* Come back, you coward, come 
back ! " yelled the furious Samurai when he 
saw what was done. 

"Not at all," replied the master calmly. 
" I told you I belonged to the free hand school. And as you 
see, it is quite unnecessary for me to use my sword." 





111 the latter half of the Ashikaga age, about four hund- 
red years ago, Japan was divided into hundreds of small 
states governed by petty lords who were constantly fighting 
among themselves; for the Emperor and the 
Shogun had long lost the power to control 
them. This was the darkest age in the history 
of Japan ; but here and there in the darkness 
the light of true Busliidb shone out. 

One of these examples of chivaby may be 
found in the action of Uesugi Kensin, the lord 
of Echigo. At that time the lord of Kai 
Province was Takeda Shingen, and he was 
<ionsidered to be the best military tactician of 
the day. Uesugi Kenshin and he were ene- 
mies; and many fierce battles were fought 
between these two clans. The 
most famous of these fights was 
the battle of Kawanaka-jima (1558), 
^nd on that occasion Uesugi dashed ahead of his followers, 
and broke into the headquarters of his enemy Takeda, bent 
on engaging him in single combat. But he was able to inflict 
only a slight wound on his opponent, and the duel went on 
until the end of their lives. 

Though they were so relentless in fighting, they held each 
other in much respect. And Uesugi especially was very 
generous towards his enemy. To give an example of this: 
owing to the inland position of Kai Province, the inhabitants 
were suffering greatly from want of salt. Uesugi, hearing of 
this, sent to his enemy a large amount of salt sufficient to 
supply the need of the people. 


1 8 




Oda Nobunaga will always be remembered as the first of 
the great trio that appeared about three hmidred and fifty 
years ago and rescued Japan from utter anarchy. The 
Shoguns of the Ashikaga family had long since lost control 
of the provincial lords, and w^ere quite powerless to check 
their lawless and bloody conflicts. It was Nobunaga who 
first partially succeeded in bringing them under subjection — 
thus preparing the way for Taiko Hideyoshi. And Hideyoshi 
in turn made it possible for Tokugaw^a leyasu to establish 
peace that lasted practically till the dawn of the present Meiji 


At first Oda Nobunaga was only a petty lord in the pro- 
vince of Owari, and was continually threatened by such power- 
ful lords as Takeda, Hojo, Imagawa and many others. Ima- 
gawa was the first of these to open hostilities against him, 
when with about twenty thousand followers he broke into 
Owari Province (in 1560), and attacked the castle at Kiyosu 
where Nobunaga was staying supported by only three thou- 
sand men. But Nobunaga, taking 
advantage of a terrific thunderstorm, 
made a sortie from the castle with 
his followers ; and taking the enemy 
unawares, inflicted a crushing defeat 
in which Imagawa himself was 

From this time Nobunaga's power increased year by year, 
until, after about twenty years of fighting, he was master of 
about twenty-eight provinces, and the most powerful leader 
in Japan. But he did not live to see the consummation of 
his great project, for at the age of forty-nine he was assassi- 
nated by Akechi Mitsuhide, in 1582. 



Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon and Hideyoshi belong to the 
same type of conqueror. Their exploits and success differed 
according to the age and the country in which they were born ; 

but as military men the}^ w^ere per- 
haps equally remarkable. 

Hide^^oshi was the son of a poor 
farmer near Nagoya; and through 
sheer merit he became chief lord 
and military leader in Japan. As 
in the case of Napoleon, after 
making himself master of the situa- 
tion at home, he aimed to conquer not only Korea but also 
China and India. He organized a large army for the invasion 
of Korea (in 151)2); but as he was then rather old, he was 
not able to lead the army himself. 

This invading army won many battles, and drove back 
the Chinese army that came to help the Koreans. Finally, 
however, owing to the death of Hideyoshi (in 1598), the army 
was connx3lled to return to Japan without accomplishing any- 

In character Hideyoshi w^as generous, and remarkably 
broad-minded. At first he was very tolerant of the Jesuits 
who came to spread Christianity in Japan, but afterwards he 
strongly opposed them on accomit of their political intrigues. 
He died about 315 years ago, at the age of sixty, and left 
one son, named Hideyori. The son, however, was much 
inferior to his father; and leyasu soon grasped the reins of 
jx)wer left in the feeble hands of Hideyori, and became the 
first of the great Tokugawa Shogims. 






Many stories are told about the quick wit and resource- 
fulness of Hideyoslii, and tliis one is a typical example. When 
the news of Oda Nobunaga's assassination by Akechi Mitsuhide 
reached Hideyoslii, he at once started for Kyoto to deal with 
the traitor. In fact, he was so eager to get there that he 
hurried on in advance of his army, and without even a body- 
guard near him. 

In the meantime the crafty Akechi, foreseeing this move, 
sent a body of swordsmen to assassinate him while on his 
way. And when Hideyoslii arrived at Nishinomiya, they rush- 
ed out from their hiding place to attack him. But Hideyo- 
slii, being a very small man and without any knowledge of 
swordsmanship, naturally had no chance whatever against 
these ruffians. So he quickly turned his horse into a narrow 
path between the ricefields leading to a small Buddhist temple ; 
and when he got some distance along the path, he suddenly 
dismounted, and turning his horse towards his pursuers, gave 
the animal a sharp prod from behind that sent him galloping 
wildly forward and scattered the swordsmen into the deep mud 

of the ricefield. 

While the pursuers were flounder- 
ing in the mud, Hideyoshi arrived 
at the temple ; and finding the priests 
in a big common bath tub, he hastily 
told them who he was, and stripping 
off his clothes, jumped into the bath 
along with them. After a few minutes the muddy assassins 
came along ; but seeing only a bath full of priests, they hurried 
on in pursuit of the fugitive. And when, half an hour later, the 
anxious body-guards arrived, they were greatly astonished as 
well as amused to find their chief dressed in the robes of a 
priest, and refreshed with a nice hot bath after his fatiguing 


KATO KIYOMASA IN KOREA (see page 123). 
Looking towards the mountains of home beyond the Sea. 



Kato Kiyomasa was a cousin of Hideyoshi, and both were 
born in tlie same village near Nagoya. Kato was a man of 
immense size and great bravery ; and in most of the battles 
fought by Hideyoshi he acted as a 
body-guard, and several times saved 
Hidej^oshi's life. 

When Hideyoshi sent a large force to 
invade Korea, Kato was made commander 
of one of the two armies. He led his 
army along the eastern sea-coast; and 
after many successful battles, 
succeeded in taking the capi- ^^ 
tal, and capturing two sons of 
the Korean king. He then 
continued his rapid march, 
driving the enemy to the 

northern extremity of the peninsula. And although he was 
sometimes cut off from the other generals who followed him,, 
he struck such terror into the hearts of the enemy that they 
feared to attack him. Even now his name is well remembered 
in Korea, and naughty children are told that Kato will come 
for them if they don't be good. 

After the Korean war, Kato was made the Daimyo of Higo 
Province and received 750,000 koku of rice. He built a 
strong castle in Kumamoto which still stands. In fact, it was 
in this castle that General Tani and his men withstood the 
siege of the Satsuma rebels in 1877. Kato was always loyal 
to Hideyoshi, and supported him and his family in every way. 
It was not until after tlie death of Kato, in 1611, that the 
cautious leyasu dared to overthrow Hideyori, the son of. 








Sorori Sliinzaemon was a kind of clown in the service 6i 
the great Taiko Hidejoshi; and was a great favourite on 
accoimt of his quick wit and unfailing good humour. The 
number of witty say- 
ings and doings attri- 
buted to Sorori is very 
large ; but as the former 
are mostly full of puns, 
they cannot be properly 
translated. One typical 
example will show the 
kind of escapades for which Sorori w^as famous. 

Hideyoshi, in a mood of after-dinner good humour, once 
said to his attendants that he would give them whatever 
they wanted. The attendants one after another stated their 
wishes, and were given swords, jewels, gold coins, etc., accord- 
ing to their desires. When Scrori's turn came, he said 
modestly that he wanted just two paper bags of rice. Hide- 
yoshi promised he should certainly have them, and laughed at 
^^^„„.,,^^ him for requesting such a trifling thing. 

Sorori thanked him simply, and quietly 
withdrew. A couple of hours later, how- 
ever, he came back attended by a hundred 
#1% /f il!^>^^-'' men carrying two enormous paper bags. 
^^^'/'^i!/ /t "These are the paper bags, sir," said 

Sorori, "and I w^ant to have them filled 
with rice according to Your Excellency's promise." The story 
says that the bags were large enough to cover two immense 
storehouses ! ^ 




leyasu, the fii'st of the Tokugawa Shoguus, was origiuall}' 
a petty lord in the province of Mikawa. From his youth he 
took part in many battles, chiefly as a faitliful ally of Oda 
Nobunaga, whose power was then growing 
ver}- rapidly ; and gradually his rare abilities 
Ijegan to be widely recognized. Yet he had 
to remain many years in a subordinate posi- 
tion: for when Nobunaga was killed, there 
remained Hideyoshi, his senior in rank as well 
as in age. But when Hideyoshi died (in 1598), 
leyasu became the most powerful general in 
Japan. At this time he Avas nearly sixty years 
old, and four 3'ears later (in lt)03) he assumed 
the title of Sliogun. 

His rare capacity as a statesman and law- 
maker was chiefly shown in his organization 
of the Tokugawa Shoganate in Yedo. For imlike Hide3'oshi 
he knew how to secure and perpetuate the advantages gained 
by conquest. But his chief desire was to^restore peace to the 
empire ; and his government so far succeeded in this that for 
about two hundred and fifty yeai-s,. almost unbroken peace 

In his old age he was a great patron of scholars. He 
caused the Confucian classics to be printed, and encoiu'aged 
the Daimyos to establish schools in 1 their territories. In fact 
the great advance of learning in the Tokugawa era was chiefly 
due to his wise and timel}' attention. 

At the age of sixty-three he retired from the office of 
Sliogun in favour of his son Hidetada, though actually retain- 
ing much power in his own hands. Twelve years later he died 
at Sumpu (now Shizuoka) in IGIG. 




^^ Okubo Hikozaemon was a Hatamoto wlio served in succes- 

*o sion the first three of the Tokugawa Shoguns. He was granted 
bj the Shogun the peculiar privilege of saying whatever he 
^^ liked to men of any rank ; and perhaps in consequence of this, 
J he became very influential. In character he was thoroughly 

^^ honest and loyal, but very eccentric, and with a rich vein of 
^SSt dry humour. Many amusing anecdotes are told about him, 

and the following is a typical example. 
■ J leyasu once gave a dinner to some Daimyos at w^hich the 

special and highly-prized dish was made of the flesh of crane. 
Okubo was also invited to partake of this delicacy, and after 
dinner leyasu asked him how he liked it. 

"It was not at all bad," replied Okubo, "but then, you 
know, I'm used to it : I have it nearly every day ! " 

leyasu was considerably surprised to hear this, as he himself 
very rarely had an opportunity to eat it, so he said to 
Okubo: "If you have it so often, you might let me have 
a share of it sometimes." 

"Willingly," replied Okubo, 
"I'll bring you a large quantity 
of it to-morrow." On the next day 
Okubo called at the Shogun's 
palace, and presented leyasu with 
a heap of greens saying : " This is 
what I had for dinner here yester- 
day. I could not find a morsel of 
crane in the dish that was set before me ; but perhaps you call 
this stuff crane in some special way." leyasu laughed heartily 
as he accepted the present ; but he told his servants to be more 
careful in future, — especially when serving Mr. Okubo ! 



. »» • A » \ 




Date Masamune, the famous Daimyo of Sendai, was born in 
tlie latter part of the Ashikaga age (in 1567). By the time that 
he was twenty-four years old, he had abeady become one of the 
most powerful military leaders in the north- 
eastern part of Japan. If he had been 
born ten or twenty years earlier, his power 
would have grown much greater ; but as it 
was, he found a rival more powerful than 
himself in the person of the great Taiko 
Hideyoshi, who had already made himself 
master of the greater part of Japan. Date 
therefore wisely decided to cast in his lot 
with Hideyoshi ; and supported him, and 
afterwards lyeyasu when the latter established the Shogunate 
in Yedo. In return for this, Date was made one of the greatest 
Daimyos in the land, with a revenue of over 800,000 koku of 

The name of Date will always be associated with the early 
history of Christianity in Japan. For it was he who sent an 
ambassador named Hashikura to the Pope of Home in 1613. 
His Holiness was much pleased to receive Date's invitation for 
missionaries to be sent to his domain, and called Date " The 
future defender of the faith in Japan." But just what Date 
had in view in extending this invitation is an open question. 
Anyhow, his attitude towards Christianity considerally changed 
in later years. And as for Hashikura, when he returned home 
in 1620 — after seven years spent in Christian lands — he declar- 
ed that Christianity was only " a vain show." 





On the top of a hill about a mile from Yokosuka station may 
be found the tomb of William Adams, the first Englishman 
that ever came to Japan. The tomb is called " Anjinzuka," 
and the hill has lately been made into a kind of park. 

William Adams was born at Gillingham in the comity of 
Kent, and was educated as a sailor. At the age of thirty-six 
he was engaged as chief pilot to the Dutch fleet of the East 
India Company, and sailed for India by way of the Straits of 
Magellan. On the way, the fleet met with every kind of hard- 
ship and peril, and only one shij^ survived. Even that ship was 
miserably damaged, and was at last driven to the province of 
Bungo in Kyiishu. Only tlu*ee of the crew were able to walk 
— being utterly exhausted ; and one of these tlu-ee was William 
Adams. This happened in the year 1600 — just three hundred 
and ten years ago. 

Adams was an honest, straightforward 
man with some scientific knowledge ; 
and the first Shogun, Tokugawa lyeya- 
su, much admired him. He was of great 
service to Japan as a ship-builder, also 
as a teacher of mathematics, astronomy 
etc., and also as general adviser for 
foreign affairs concerning trade matters 
and such things. In acknowledgment 
of his services, lyeyasu appointed him 
Lord of Hemi near Yokosuka, and 
allowed him yearly two hundred and 
fifty Icoku of rice. Adams married a Japanese woman, and took 
the name of Miura Anjin. They had two children. When 
about fifty years old Adams died, much honoured and regretted. 



Nakae Toju, generally known as the Sage of Omi, was born 
in 1608, the same year as Milton. From his early youth he 
devoted himself to study of the Chinese classics, always trying 
to apply their teachings in his own life. 
At first he studied mainly what is known as 
'the Shushi school of Chinese thought, which 
was especially encouraged for political 
pm-poses by the Tokugawa rulers of that 
<day; but in his thirty-seventh year, he 
embraced the teachings of the Yomei school 
which unified his views, and threw a flood 
•of light on the problems that so deeply 
interested him. These teachings of O-Yo- 
mei (in Chinese, Wang- Yang-Ming) had great influence on Na- 
kae Toju's character and work from this time onwards. In 
fact, mainly through him, this good influence extended to many 
scholars and thinkers of later days ; and undoubtedly did a 
good deal towards bringing about the Restoration in Japan. 
For the teachings of O -Yomei stood for the right of protest and 
free inquiry ; whereas the teachings of Shushi tended rather to 
support the government however bad it might be. 

Nakae Toju spent most of his life in teaching, and making 
commentaries on the great classics, and by his character and 
work exercised a most beneficent influence on Japanese thought. 
He was greatly respected and beloved by all who knew him, as 
well as by his many disciples. He died of asthma in 1618, and 
the house in which he lived became a kind of shrine to the vil- 
lagers of Omi who reverenced him almost as a god. 






One night when Nakae Toju was returning home very late, 
he was suddenly attacked by highwaymen who demanded his 
money and threatened to kill him if he refused. But the sage 
calmly told them to wait for a few minutes. " This is quite a 
new question to me," he said. " I must consider a little before 
making my decision." So while he stood there deep in medita- 
tion, the robbers waited with drawn swords in their hands. At 
last the sage turned to them and said, " I can't find any reason 
why I should give you my money. If I don't do so, you may 
use violence and I shall be helpless against all of you combined ; 
but anyhow I will not act against my conscience even if I lose 
my life. So I will fight with you ; but first of all let me know 
your names. You know Buslii do not fight without first declar- 
ing their names. Who are you ? My name 
is Nakae Toju." 

No sooner had he pronounced his name 
than the robbers threw themselves down 
before him, and begged for pardon ; for 
even these ruffians knew of and respected 
the noble character of the sage, and were 
filled with shame for attacking such a man. 
Nakae Toju was greatly pleased to see their repentance, and 
gave them good advice concerning their future, with the result 
that they forthwith changed their ways and became honest, 
hard-working people. 



lu ji small village called Kozu near Sakura, there stands a 
baautiful sliriue known as Sogo-Jirija, This shrine is dedicated 
to Sakura S5go who is honoured as a kind of patron saint of 
farmers. Sogo lived in the early part of 
the Tokugawa age, — nearly three hundred X^^ 
years ago. He was the headman of his 
own and several other neighbouring vil- 
lages, and on account of his unselfish 
conduct, was loved like a father by the 

At that time the lord of Sakura had a 
chief official who was a merciless tyrant ; 
and the poor farmers suffered greatly from 
the heavy taxes that he compelled them to pay, even when the 
crops failed, and they were hardly able to find food for their 

At last they could no longer bear the oppression and were 
about to rise in revolt, when Sogo on the one hand appeased 
them, and on the other appealed to the chief official on their 
behalf. The appeal, however, was coldly rejected and Sogo 
himself was imprisoned on a charge of insolence. 

Nothing daunted, however, he managed to escape from prison 
and made his way to Yedo, determined to present a direct 
petition to the lord of the province himself. He well knew 
tliat this was punishable with death, according to the cruel law 
of that day, but he never hesitated a moment. He succeeded 
in presenting his petition for the sake of the poor people that 
he loved so well. And in doing so he laid down his life for 
them ; for lie was afterwards executed by order of the heartless 






Yamada Nagamasa, the successful adventurer and soldier of 
fortune, lived in the beginning of the seventeenth century. The 
peaceful atmosphere of the Tokugawa era was all too mild for 
him, so he decided to seek adventure abroad, and soon an 
opportunity to get away presented itself. Two merchants 
were preparing a ship in Osaka Bay for commerce with 
Formosa, and although, through fear of him, they declined to 
give him a passage, he stowed away om the ship, and appeared 
on deck when it was too late to put him ashore. 

He soon tired of Formosa, however, and made his way to 
Siam where a fierce civil war was then going on ; and this was 
just the chance that he was eagerly looking for. He found 
hundreds of Japanese sailors and fishermen wlio had drifted to 
Siam, and at once set to work to organize and train them. 
Then, with this well disciplined and sturdy 
body of men, he was able to win so many 
victories against the rebels that at length 
his skill and courage won the admiration 
of the King of Siam. Nagamasa was ap- 
pointed commander-in-chief of the King's 
army, and it was chiefly owing to his 
courage and strategic ability that the civil 
war was put down. 

Many years later the two merchants of 
his old acquaintance visited Siam for trading purposes and 
were interviewed by the ex-stowaway in his palace. This was 
probably the proudest moment in Nagamasa's life. His in- 
teresting career was unfortunately cut short by assassins in 


■"^^ jiiw 








%. . 

- ' ■ ' 




Among the great Daimyos of the Tokiigawa era there were 
men of much wisdom and merit. And Tokugawa Mitsnkuni, 
lord of Mito, was pre-eminently such a man. He was a grand- 
son of the Shogiin lyeyasu, and was 
born in 1628. 

He was not only a great patron of 
learning, like his grandfather, but 
was himself a great scholar. The 
work for which he is most gratefully 
remembered is called the Dainihon^ 
sJd, a history of Japan from the time of the first Emperor Jim- 
mu, imtil the abdication of the Emperor Go-Komatsu, in 1413. 
In the compilation of this great work, consisting of a hundred 
volumes, he was assisted by some of the best scholars of the 
day. Tlie work was completed in about the year 1715 ; but 
was not published until 1851. This was the first proper history 
of Japan. 

It is remarkable that although INIitsukuni was himself so 
nearly related to the Shogun, he was an ardent upholder of the 
imperial power, and this spirit pervades his great historical 
work. In fact, it was mainly this book that made the Japanese 
people painfully aware of the wrongful treatment of the Em- 

Mitsukuni was himself a wise and just governor of his 
domain, and was a trusted adviser of the Shogmi. At the age 
of sixty he retired from active life ; and attended by only one 
servant, he travelled as a pilgrim in many parts of Japan. He 
spent the last years of his life in a small cottage at Ota near 
Mito, where he died at the age of seventy-tlnree. 






The poet Baslio was born in 1644 — two years later than Sir 
Isaac Newton. At an early age he became a mystic of the Zen 
{dhydna, lit. " contemplation ") school, and devoted his whole 
life to virtue and poetry. With him art and morality were 
inseparable, and he used poetry as a means to raise the level of 
culture, and to turn people to a higher life. His influence on 
Japanese poetry was wholly good ; and during his wanderings 
tln^oughout Japan, it was by his own exalted character, no less 
than by his poems and teachings, that he encouraged all to live 
the "life beautiful." 

The vehicle of poetry used by Basho — and of which he was 
the greatest master — is called HoTcku, a half-stanza limited to 
seventeen syllables. It is a verbal impressionist sketch or 
vignette, giving but the briefest outline or efflorescence of a 
scene or sentiment. To convey an idea of its natui'e, it may be 
best to quote from western poetry lines resembling the Koklzu, 
— as in translation the charm of the 
original is lost. The lines of Wordsworth, 
for example : — 

" O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird, 
Or but a wandering voice ? " 
somewhat resemble the spirit of the Hohku, 
And also Longfellow's lines : — 
A^^^W^ ' ^^^ hooded clouds, like friars, 

y/|[ '^ I ijlv Tell their beads in drops of rain." 

Basho is said to have had three thousand 
disciples whom he instructed and encouraged with unfailing 
patience and good nature. At the age of fifty, this man of 
noble soul passed away after a brief illness. 



JO-i.^ — t- 

0-oka Ecliizeu Avas a judge famous for his wisdom, and |u3 
lived in the Tokugawa era about two hundred years ago. m 
There is au old book called 0-oka-Seidan which is a record 
of the lawsuits and judgements of this remarkable man. The gij 
following story is taken from this book. 

A certain carpenter in Yedo fell sick, 
and was unable to pay his house-rent for 
several months. The landlord of the house 
finally took away the carpenter's tools as 
security for the seventy-five kan that was 
owing, and told him to vacate. The 
carpenter, after removing to a new house, 
gradually recovered, but he could not do 
any work for his living as the former landlord held all of his 

The new landlord, feeling very sorry for the carpenter, lent 
him twenty-five kan and told him to give it to the former 
landlord as part payment, and to get back the necessary tools. 
But the latter insisted on having the whole seventy-five kan 
before returning the tools. So at last the case was brought 
before 0-oka Echizen. 

O-oka first called the new landlord to court and ordered 
him to lend the carpenter the entire sum, which was then 
given to the former landlord in exchange for the tools. Then 
calling the former landlord, O-oka addressed him as follows : — 
*' Yon took away this carpenter's tools and thus prevented him 
from working for one hundred days. You are ordered to pay 
him two hundred kan as wages for this time, as it was owing 
to your merciless action that he was left helpless and im- 




tfp Yamaga Soko, the ideal exemplar of Buslndb, lived in the 

early part of the Tokngawa era. He was a great scholar, but 

^ was still greater as a master of military tactics. He studied 
military science under Hojo IJjinaga and Obata Kambei, the 

iT two best tacticians of that day, and was able to master the 
profound principles of it. He afterwards established a new 
school called the Yamaga school of military arts, and at the 
age of thirty his fame had already spread throughout the land. 
At his private school in Yedo there w^ere thousands of 
pupils, including many Daimyos, — a most astonishing fact 
w^hen we consider the aristocratic customs of that age. At last, 
however, his influence became so great that the timid authori- 
ties began to look upon him with suspicion. And moreover his 
very original way of thinking, and his outspoken criticisms,. 
gave rise to many slanders against him. 

The result was that, without any apparent reason, he was> 
ordered to give up his school and leave Yedo. Thereupon he 
went to Ako in the province of Harima, where he had formerly 
been engaged for nine years by the lord of the province, 

spent ten more years teaching the lord and his retainers. 

It is noteworthy that among these retainers who received 
the instruction of Yamaga, were Oishi Yoshio and many others 
who afterwards became famous as the well-known "Forty- 
seven Ronins." 


P»3' permissiiM cf tli» Oiho^sha. 

LANDSCAPE BV GVOKUSllO (see page 215). 

.f A— ,^1,: 



No incident in Japanese history is more widely known to 
tlie public than that of the Chus/nngura, or as it is described 
in English: " The Forty-seven Ronins." Innumerable novels, 
stories, essays and dramas have been 
written about this famous incident. 
In English also the story has been 
told, and many western people have 
read it in Mitford's " Tales of Old 

A brief outline of the story may 
be given in a few words. Asano Nagonori, lord of Ako 
Province, was grossly insulted in the Shogun's palace by an ill- 
natured courtier named Kira Kozukenosuke ; and attacked him 
with a dagger, inflicting slight wounds. But in consequence of 
tliis momentary fit of anger, Asano was compelled to commit 
JiaraJciri, and his house became extinct. His retainers, who 
thus became Roni)!, or Samurai without a lord, swore to avenge 
the death of their master. 

How they accomplished their purpose, and finally killed 
their master's enemy at his residence in Yedo, and the self- 
sacrifice and indomitable persistence which they showed in 
carrying out their object cannot be told in these few words. 
Suffice it to say that in avenging the death of their master 
they did not spare themselves. For when their purpose was 
accomplished they calmly laid down their own faithful lives by 
haraldri, after the custom of that day. 

At Sengakuji temple in Takanawa, Tokyo, may be found 
the tombs of these forty-seven loyal retainers. 







Tlie leader of the fortj-seveii Runins who avengecl the death 
of their lord was called Oishi Yosliio. When the great mis- 
fortune overtook the house of his lord, he did his utmost to 
save the house from ruin, and only wdien he found it quite 
hopeless did he at last resort to the act of vengeance. 

The enemy was in great fear of Oishi, and he was con- 
stantly watched by spies. So in order to deceive them he 
began to live a very careless and dissolute life, until at last 
people began to think he was really nothing but an easy- 
going coward. In fact, a certain knight named Kiken was so 
disgusted with Oishi for his apparent cowardice, that one day 
on meeting him in the street Kiken abused and insulted him 
and even spat upon him to show his contempt. But Oishi 
merely begged his pardon in an abject manner and appeared 
to have no spirit left in him. In this way the enemies of his 
master's house were thrown off their 
guard and the loyal retainers led by 
Oishi were able to accomplish their 
terrible purpose. 

When this was accomplished, and 
Kiken at last understood the meaning 
of Oishi's action, he felt so much ashamed of his rude conduct 
that he committed haraklri before the tomb of Oishi at 
Sengakuji in Tokyo. 




Kaibara Ekken, tlie famous moralist, was born iu 1630 at 
Fukuoka iu Chikuzen where liis family were hereditary 
retainers of the lord of that province. He wrote more than 
a hundred works, mainly on practical 
ethics ; and as he used the haim, or 
simple phonetic script, as far as 
possible, even children and ignorant 
persons could understand what he 
wrote. His sole object was to 
instruct and benefit people ; and his 
style, though manly and direct, was quite free from mere 
rhetorical ornament. His works include commentaries on 
the Chinese classics, works of travel, and treatises on hygiene 
and botany. 

In his youth he was interested in Buddhism, but later 
devoted himself to study of the Chinese classics. When he 
grew up, he went to Kyoto where he studied under Kinoshita 
Junan and other scholars ; and after residing there for three 
years, he returned to his native province, where he held official 
jx)sts under three successive Daimyos. In 1700 he retired on 
a pension, and went to live in Kyoto until his death in 1714. 

Although Kaibara was one of the most eminent scholars, 
of his day, he had not an atom of pedantry about him ; and 
in consequence of this, and of his earnest sincerity, the in- 
fluence of his vigorous writings was very great. Even now 
liis bo(3ks are a good deal read, and a new edition of his works 
has lately been printed. His wife — a highly accomplished 
lady — often accompanied Kaibara on his travels, and also 
assisted him in his literary labours. 





Kaibara Ekken was fond of travelling in intervals of Lis 
busy literary life. And in this way lie acquired a knowledge 
of tlie customs of the people at first hand ; and also was able 
^f to find out what w^ere their special needs in the way of ethical 
instruction. He was personally a very modest, unassuming 
^ man, and as he passed among the people, they did not guess 
that so eminent a scholar was observing them and taking 
mental notes of their actions. 

An amusing incident occurred one day when he was tra- 
velling by boat. One of his fellow j)assengers was a young 
student who appeared to be very proud of his scanty learning, 
and was airing his knowledge for the benefit of the passengers, 
whom he hoped to impress. In particular, he expounded the 
meaning of one of the Chinese classics ; and seeing an elderly 
man listening attentively, the student addressed most of his 
remarks to him. In fact, the student became quite eloquent 
with such a sympathetic listener, and w^ent on expounding and 

exhorting very condescendingly. At 
-£- %, last the boat arrived at the destina- 
^y^^;^- tion; and when the passengers were 
\] Mr^A^V^ parting, the student asked his patient 
^-^jas^ listener for his name. "lam Kai- 
bara Ekken," replied the scholar 
simply. On hearing this, the young man blushed in the 
utmost confusion; and amidst roars of laughter from the 
passengers, he precipitately fled. 





Arai Hakuseki was one of the most distinguished scholars 04. 
in Japan, and wrote about three hundred works. The prin- 
cipal ones are: the HcmJcampu (a history of the Daimyos of 
Japan from 1600 to 1630); the Ori-taku-sJdba (his autobio- 
graphy) and the ToJcushi Yoron (a 
history of Japan). All of these and 
some others are still widely read, 
and highly considered. He wrote 
these books in Japanese instead of 
the Chinese dialect of the Han 
dynasty used b}' most scholars of 
that day. 

He was born in Yedo in 1657, and as a boy gave many 
proofs of precocious intelligence. In fact, when only tlnree 
years old he copied out some Chinese characters in a recogni- 
zable manner. He soon attracted the notice of his feudal 
lord, named Tsuchiya, who kept him constantly by his side ; 
and even when an offer to adopt the boy was made by the 
lord of Morioka, Tsuchi3'a politely declined to part with him. 

When Hakuseki grew to manhood, his teacher Kinosliita 
Junan tried to procure for him an appointment with the lord 
of Kaga Province ; but Hakuseki being appealed to by a friend 
in that province who had an aged mother to support, begged 
his teacher to use his influence for the sake of this friend. 
And it was not imtil 1693, when he was thirty-six years old, 
that Hakuseki had a favoiurable opportunity for advancement. 
At this time he was engaged as tutor to Tokugawa lyenobu, 
the lord of Kofu, who became Shogim in 1709; and from this 
time until the death of the Shogun in 1717, Hakuseki had 
great influence, — chiefly as adviser about State affairs. From 
1716 imtil his death in 1725, at the age of sixty-nine, 
Hakuseki, having retired from office, spent his time among the 
books he loved so well, and in literary work. 




Cliikamatsu Monzaimon may be called the Shakespeare 
of Japan. He was not only the earliest, but also the greatest 
playwright of the Tokugawa age. Prior to this time, there 
existed only the very simple and classical plays called No or 
Kyogen. Chikamatsu was therefore the founder of the modern 
Japanese drama. He wrote more than fifty plays, Avhich may 
be divided into two large groups, namely, the historical and 
the domestic plays. Of these Aiura Jigokii ("The Oil Hell "), 
Soga Kaikeizan (" The Soga Vendetta "), Ten [710 Amnjima 
(" The Punishment of Heaven "), Sonezahi Sldnjiu (" The 
Sonezaki Double Suicide "), etc., etc., may be mentioned as his 
representative works. 

The literary style of Chikamatsu is entirely unique, and 
nobody can imitate it. He uses both prose and verse, and 
both mingle together in a matchless melody, very subtle in 
its combination. His [vocabulary also is very rich, — probably 
more extensive than that of any other Japanese author. 

Concerning the life of Chikamatsu very little is known. 
He was born in 1653, and died in 1724. He studied in 
Kyoto and became a high official in the Imperial Court ; but 
afterwards resigned his position and went to Osaka where 
he devoted himself to writing plays. Except these few 
meagre facts, nothing is known about his life; and in this 
respect again his case resembles that of Shakespeare. 


Continuing his exposition, unaware that the h'ght has gone out. 
(The room is supposed to be in darkness). 




The story of Hanawa Hokiichi, the famous blind scholar who 
died in 1821, is probably without parallel in the lit<3rary history ^ 
of the world. He was born in the province of Musashi, and be- 
came blind when only seven years C 
old. He was sent to Yedo where he 
tried to learn music and also the art 
of shampooing, which is practised 
by blind men in Japan ; but he 
failed in both. Meanwhile, however, 
his wonderful memory began to at- 
tract the attention of people, for he is said to have remembered 
everything that he heard. At last, by the help of friends, he 
was able to devote himself entirely to study, and finally became 
a very learned man. 

Availing himself of his marvellous memory, he set about the 
task of collecting miscellaneous old documents, and systematiz- 
ed them into well-arranged book form. This book was called 
the Gunsho Buiju and consisted of no fewer than 2,820 volumes, 
— the largest book ever published in Japan. It was reprinted 
during the Meiji era, and is still considered one of the most 
useful reference books, especially for historians. 

He also found time to establish a school called the Wagaku- 
sho where he taught the Japanese classics to many students, 
whose admiration for him as a profound scholar and critic was 
equalled only by their devotion to him as a man. 







Hanawa Hokiiclii, the famous blind scholar and critic, was 
once reading with his students the well-known novel called Gen- 
ji Monogatari. The lecture room was rather small, and was 
provided with only one lamp, by the light of which the students 
were just able to see their books. But while they were busily 
taking notes of their master's lecture, a puff of wind suddenly 
blew out the lamp and left them in darkness. 

Hanawa, being quite unaware of this, calmly went on with 
his lectm*e ; but the students, being of course unable to see to 
read or write, had to ask their master to stop for a few 

"Why, what is the matter? " enquired Hana- 

" It is the light, sir," they replied. " The wind 
has blown out the light, and we can't see out* 
books. Please wait a moment till we light the 
lamp again." 

Hanawa smiled when he heard this, and 
replied, " That shows the inconvenience of hav- 
ing to depend on eyes ; for when the light goes 
out, you suddenly become blind and helpless. But as for me, 
I'm fortunate in never having any trouble of this kind." 

4)^ ^^ ^h 

'^S^ 'WS^ '^1^ 

-t^ ^ ^ 



Of the many great classical scholars who appeared during the g 
Tokugawa era, probably the greatest was Motoori Norinaga. 
He was born in 1730, in Ise Province, and at the age of 
twenty-one he went to Kyoto to study medicine. Six years 
later he returned home and set up practice as a physician. But 
his main interest was in classical study, and all of his spare 
time was spent in collecting material for his numerous com- 
mentaries and critical works. 

His fame as a scholar rests chiefly on his Kojiki-deny a com- 
mentary on the Kojiki. This old book called KojiJci, or " Re- 
cord of Ancient Matters," Avas the first book ever written in 
Japan, and was completed in A. D. 712. It contains the early 
traditions of the Japanese race from the myths which form the 
basis of Shinto until the close of A. D. 626. This book is very 
valuable for research ; but the language in which it was Avritten 
— a clumsy mixture of Chinese and Japanese— made it well- 
nigh unintelligible even to educated Japanese until Motoori's 
monumental work appeared. This commentary consists of no 
fewer than forty-four good-sized volumes, and took over thirty 
years to write. 

Motoori also devoted himself to grammatical research, and 
wrote a book called Kotoha no Tama no ivo which tlu'ows much 
light on the structure of the Japanese language. These 
researches were afterwards continued by his son Motoori 
Haruniwa, who wrote a well-known grammatical work called 
Kotoha no Yachimata. These were the pioneer works on 
Japanese grammar. 



Rai Sanyo may be called the Macaulay of Japan. He liyecl 

in the beginning of the eighteenth centiu'y, and wrote essays, 

UJ poems, and histories, all of which his contemporaries considered 

to be the best of their kind. And although many great men of 

ng letters appeared in the Tokugawa era, none was so popular or 

■^ so widely admired during his lifetime. 

The best of his works is entitled the Nihon GaisJii and relates 
the history of the Shogunate from its beginning in the twelfth 
century imtil the establishment of the Tokugawa dynasty of 
Shoguns. As a history, it may have many faults ; but the style 
is remarkably elegant, and few historical works possess such 
literary charm. 

Another important reason for the book's popularity is that 
the author was a zealous loyalist, and he deeply regretted the 
deplorable decline of the Imperial power. 
So he endeavoured to show the injustice 
and defects of the feudal s^^stem, and to 
awaken loyalty to the Emperor. Thu& 
the book had great influence in bringing 
about the Restoration. He made a mis- 
take, however, in writing the book in the 
Chinese language, — a common error with 
most writers of the Yedo period. For 
Chinese, in Japan, held a position similai* 
to that of Latin in Europe during the 
But the custom is now quite changed, and the 
younger generation is fast losing this knowledge. So the book 
is in danger of becoming obsolete ere long, like Latin books in 
western countries. 

Middle Ages. 




This great historical novelist was born in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century. He wrote hundreds of books, but the 
best known and most popular are the Hakkenden (literally, 
"The Story of Eight 
Dogs ") and Yiimi- 
harUsuki {" The 
Crescent Moon "). 
His style is elegant 
and peculiarly ryth- 
mical, and has serv- 
ed as a model for 
ver}' many authors of later days. In his easy handling of 
historical matters, in his love of picturesque and martial 
incidents, and in his matchless skill of graphic description, he 
closely resembles Sir Walter Scott. Bakin, however, had the 
disadvantage of waiting in a language of ver}' limited cm-rency ; 
otherwise his name would have undoubtedly become much more 
widely known. 

Owing to overwork, especially in the night-time, Bakin in 
his old age became blind. Yet in spite of this great obstacle 
he did not give up. First he set about the education of liis 
daughter-in-law who was rather poor in learning at that time. 
And finally she was able to act as his assistant, and to write 
down what he would dictate. Thus he was able to complete the 
Hakkenden, his longest work, after twenty-eight years of con- 
tinuous toil. In this respect, the case of Bakin was similar to 
that of Milton who dictated to his daughter, and finished his 
great work " Paradise Lost " after he became blind. 



1 60 


Among Japanese artists Hokusai is perhaps the best known 
to people in the West. He was undoubtedly one of Japan's 
greatest painters, and especially as a master of genre painting 
he was unsurpassed. 

He was born at Yedo in 1760, and at first studied sculpture ; 
but gave this up at the age of nineteen and became a painter. 
From that time until his death (in 1848), at the age of ninety, he 
devoted himself almost passionately to his art ; remaining single 
and quite regardless of wealth. Indeed, his devotion to paint- 
ing was remarkable : even on his deathbed he is said to have 
cried, " Alas ! if I could live ten years more, I should become 
an artist." 

Many of his pictures were bought and taken to Europe by 
the Dutch traders who came to Japan at that time, and for 
many years Hokusai, at their request, continued to paint 
pictures chiefly of Japanese life and customs, until this was 
finally forbidden by the Shogunate authorities, who feared that 
domestic secrets would thus leak out. So not many of his 
pictures remain in Japan ; but we can ap- 
preciate the wood-engravings found in such 
books as Hokusai 3Iangiva, Fugahu Hj/ak- 
hei, Elion Tbtoyu, etc., etc., as well as the 
illustrations which he drew for some of 
Bakin's novels. 

In character, Hokusai was a thorough 
Bohemian. He usually occupied a small 
cheap house in a back alle}^, and is said to 
have once removed three times in a single 
day. And once when his house caught fire, he just picked up 
his brushes and left, w^ithout taking any of his scanty furniture, 
or troubling at all about his loss. 




^ 3i 



Painted by the famous artist, Hokusai (see page i6o). 



Ikku was a famous liumourist who died about eighty years 
ago. He was a voluminous writer, but the best of his works is 
the well-known HizaJcurige (" Shank's Mare "). This work is 
quite loose in construction, be- 
ing simply a series of adventur- 
es and experiences of two jolly 
fellows called Kitahachi and 
Yajirobei, when on their walk- 
ing pilgrimage from Yedo to 
Kyoto. Full of comic situa- 
tions, jokes and good humour, 

this book resembles "The Pickwick Papers," and one can 
hardly read a page of it without laughing. 

Ikku himself was a curious fellow, and a typical Bohemian 
in his ways. He was very fond of wandering about the 
country, and would often start off on a journey without giving 
a word of notice to anybody. In some respects his life resem- 
bled that of Oliver Goldsmith. 

Even on his deathbed he kept up his habit of practical 
joking. He gave his friends and pupils strict injunctions that 
his corpse was to be burned in the clothes that he was then 
wearing. When he died and the body was placed on the 
crematory fire, suddenly a loud report was heard, and to the 
astonishment of everybody, several rockets shot up into the air. 
Ikku had concealed the fireworks in his bosom, simply to amuse 
his mourners, and to create a little diversion at his funeral. 





Many amusing stories are told about Ikku, tlie novelist, by 
his biographers ; and the following example well illustrates the 
quaint eccentricity of this typical Bohemian. Ikku was very 
careless about money matters, and his house often lacked even 
the scanty fm:niture considered necessary in Japan. So he 
used to put pictures of the missing articles on his walls ; and on 
festival days, he satisfied the requirements of custom in the 
same peculiar way. 

One New Year's Day, when a publisher came to pay a visit 
of ceremony, Ikku received him very cordially ; and somewhat 
to the publisher's bewilderment, prevailed on him to take a hot 
bath. But no sooner had his guest retired for this purpose 
than Ikku hastily put on the publisher's ceremonial costume, 
and left the house. 

A few minutes later, when the publisher came out of the 
bath-room, he found to his great astonishment that both his 
clothes and his host were gone. And as there was no fii'e in the 
room, of course he could not remain naked in the cold ; so he 
had to get into the bath again and again until Ikku returned 
some hours later. 

"Why did you take my clothes?" he cried angrily, when 
Ikku at last appeared. " I've had to remain for hours in your 

" It was extremely kind of you to come," replied Ikku 
innocently. " The fact is I have no clothes suitable for making 
New Year calls, so I just borrov*^ed yom^s for a short time." 


By permission of the Shinbi-shoin. 

Famous picture by Okyo. (see page 167). 



Maruyama Okyo, the famous painter, appeared in Kyoto 
during the eighteenth century and founded a new school of 
painting called the Shijo-ryu. At first he followed the Kano 
school, but later put aside conventional principles, and attempt- 
ed a reform based on closer observation of 
nature. His j^ictures of birds, fish, and 
animals were singularly lifelike, and have 
never been surpassed before or since. His 
pure natm*alism gave a great im]3ulse to 
art, and led to the appearance of many 
schools of genre paintings. 

Once he was asked to make a picture of 
a sleeping boar ; and as he had never seen 
one, he asked a farmer to keep a look out, and let him know 
when a good chance came. A few days later the farmer 
reported that there was a boar sleeping in a thicket near by ; 
so Okyo hastened to the spot and made a careful sketch. He 
felt rather proud of this, and showed it to a friend from the 
mountains of Kurama who came to see him. But in these 
mountains there were many boars, and when his friend saw 
the picture he at once remarked that the animal was not 
sleeping, but deathly sick ; and he explained minutely the 
posture of a sleeping boar. This criticism proved to be per- 
fectly correct : for the next day the farmer reported that the 
boar had died. Okyo was much impressed by this, and would 
tell his pupils about it when urging upon them the need for 
greater accuracy of observation. A reproduction of his famous 
picture of carp will be found on page 165. 





■o.v<3 li^ovisllf i^-i:i '^€^-^' 




li Naosuke's name is inseparably connected with tlie 
opening of Japan to foreign trade, for at that time he was the 
Daird, or Prime Minister of the Tokugawa government, and 
the whole responsibility for diplomatic negotiations with 
western countries rested on him. A few yeara before he 
became Daird, the Tokngawa government had made temporary 
treaties — first with America, then with England and Knssia, 
concerning the opening of a few seaports ; and this concession 
had produced intense excitement throughout the empire. As a 
result of this, two parties came into existence : one of them, 
called the Jd-i party, wished to expel the foreigners ; and the 
other, called the Kaikoku party, were in favour of opening the 
country. The members of the Kaikolm party were mostly 
connected with the Shogunate, and had come to realize the 
folly of trying to resist the pressure from outside ; while the 
Jb-i party w\as made up of the conservative elements of the 
country, together with loyalists who wished to overthrow the 
Tokugawa government, and to restore the Emperor. 

Meanwhile five of the great foreign Powers were pressing 
the Tokugawa government to conclude the treaties as promised. 
And it was then that Lord li, seeing the danger of further 
postponement, quickly concluded these treaties, in 1858, with- 
out waiting for the sanction of the Emperor. This arbitrary 
action caused still greater agitation for a time ; and even now 
there are some who do not wholly approve of his action. 

In suppressing this agitation. Lord li's extreme severity in 
dealing with many loyalists such as Yoshida Shoin, and even 
the Daimyo of Mito, caused intense resentment, and he w^as 
finally assassinated while on his way to the Shogun's palace 
CD the 3rd of March, 1860. 




Among tlie many patriots who appeared towards tlie end m 
of the Tokugawa Shogiinate, one of the most notable was 
Yoshida Shoin. He w^as a Samurai of the Choshu clan, 
and was born in 1830. He was a very precocious boy, and 
from his youth was noted for his high attainments. 

In those days Japan was in a state of 
great commotion : for western Powers were 
knocking at the door that had been closed 
for two centuries, and the surprise and 
agitation caused by the advent of the " Black 
Ships" can easily be imagined. At this 
critical time, the feudal government was 
quite unable to deal with the situation ; and Yoshida Shoin 
was one of the first to see this, and the necessity for con- 
solidating the country under the direct rule of the Emperor. 

He also saw the need for obtaining direct knowledge 
of foreign countries: so when Commodore Perry with his 
seven ships came to open negotiations with the Shogunate, 
Yoshida Shoin conceived the bold idea of going abroad himself 
for this purpose. He went to Shimoda where the American 
ships were lying at anchor, and boarding the flagship, 
implored Commodore Perry to take him to America. But 
Perry discreetly declined to do so, and Yoshida was put 
on shore. Then knowing there was no escape, he gave 
himself up to the authorities, and was condemned to im- 
prisonment. But being set free after a time, he started 
a private school in Choshu Province ; and Prince Itu, Prince 
Yamagata, and many other eminent men were among his 
pupils. A few years later, however, his radical vieAvs incurred 
the displeasure of the authorities, and he was put to death in 



The word Sliogun is so closely connected with feudalism 
in Japan, and now sounds so remote that most western 
people would be surprised to hear that the last of the great 
Tokugawa Shoguns is still alive. It is a fact, however, that 
Prince Tokugawa, at present living a retired life in Tokyo, is 
none other than the Shogun Keiki, now a venerable old man 
of seventy-four. 

The Shogun lemochi, his ^predecessor, died yoimg (in 1866) 
and left no son. Now, in case of there being no direct heir, 
the new Shogun was always chosen from one of the three 
noble families of Owari, Kii, or Mito, — all descended from 
Tokugawa leyasu. And in this case Keiki, the son of Akinari, 
lord of Mito, w^as chosen. 

Jt was indeed a fortunate thing for Japan that such a 
clear-sighted and peace-loving man stood at the head of 
the feudal government at this critical time. For the Shogun 
Keiki was one of the first to see the absurdity and danger 
of dividing the administration between the Emperor 
and the Sliogun ; and the very next year he resigned 
his authority. Thus it was mainly owing to this act 
of sacrifice, that Japan was able to accomplish the 
work of the Restoration without disastrous civil war 
and incalculable misfortune. 

The heir of Prince Keiki Tokugawa, a young man of 
twenty-five named Yoshihisa, is a graduate of the 
Imperial University; and last year he married the 
daughter of Prince Arisugawa. 


The story \oi Robinson Crusoe has been translated into 
Japanese, and is read with keen interest by young people 
here, and by old ones as well. In Japan also there have been 
instances not unlike that de- 
scribed in the famous story, and 
one of the most notable of these 
happened about seventy years 
ago. This was the well-known 
case of Nakahama Manjiro, the 
son of a poor fisherman in Tosa Province. 

When Nakahama was thirteen years old, he went out fishing 
one day with his father and brothers in their small fishing- 
boat. Suddenly a great storm arose, and their boat soon 
became helpless, and drifted away towards the north for about 
ten days. At last they reached the shores of a small desert 
island where they landed, and for several months kept them- 
selves alive by eating the flesh of birds, and such food as they 
could find on the island. 

One day an American whaling-boat happened to call 
at this island, and Nakahama was taken to America where 
he entered a primary school. He was probably the first 
Japanese to be educated at an American school. Afterwards he 
became by turns a sailor, a cooper, and a gold miner, and 
made his living in this way. 

After about ten years, he retm*ned to Japan, and was very 
useful to the government; for when Commodore Perry came 
to Uraga, it was Nakahama Manjiro who translated Perry's- 
official letter to the authorities. Also he did very useful 
service to his country as a teacher of English, as an inter- 
preter, and as general adviser concerning foreign affairs. 

He died a rich man about ten years ago ; and one of his sons, 
is now a well-known doctor in Japan. 



In Odawara near Hakone there is a beautiful Shinto shrine 
called *'Ninomiya Jinja," dedicated to the memory of Nino- 
miya Sontoku, who died about fifty-six years ago. He was 
a rare combination of idealist and eminently practical man ; 
and w^as a great agricultm-al economist as well as a teacher of 
ethics. His teachings, usually known as "The Ninomiya 
doctrine " {Ninomiya-Kyo), are much esteemed by many 
eminent statesmen and business men, as well as by thousands 
of admirers throughout the country. This is all the more 
remarkable when we consider that he was the self-taught son 
of a simple, uneducated farmer. 

His parents died when he was only sixteen, and left him 
so poor that he had to seek employment on a farm and work 
very hard for many years. Yet aftel' toiling in the fields 
all day long, he contrived to find time for study at night, and 
little by little was able to gain an education. 

His first efforts were directed to restoring the house of his 
family, and he succeeded not only in this but also in greatly 
improving the condition of the whole village. After this he 
was taken into the service of the lord of Odawara, and given 

the task of improving a miserably 

impoverished district. This also 

was a splendid success; and by the 

"^ ^5^?^;^^^7^ 'i:': ^ TaMi example of his own imtiring industry, 

and by touching the hearts of the 
people, he was able to work such 
wonders that his aid and advice were 
sought by the lords of many other provinces. He died at the 
age of seventy-one, after a life of service and benevolence that 
will be long remembered. 


THE SEVEN GODS OF FORTUNE (see page 227). 



Saigo Takainori was a man 


gi-eat personality, and 
exercised a remarkable influence over liis fellow men. The 
soldiers who served under him, together with his companions 
in arms, were greatly devoted to him. He 
was a born military leader, and rendered 
valuable service to the country at the time 
of the Restoration. 

The latter part of his life, however, was 
unfortunately marred by misunderstandings 
with the government, and his end was 
tragical. When he became a Councillor-of- 
State he advocated the sending of a military 
expedition to Korea ; for he regarded that 
country as a source of danger, — " a dagger 
pointed at the heart of Japan." In this, 
however, he was strongly opposed by 
Okubo, Kido, I to, and others who had 
lately returned from abroad ; and who insisted that there were 
far more urgent matters to attend to at home. Saigo then 
returned to Satsuma, his native province, and founded a 
military school there at his own expense. 

A few years later (in 1877), the Satsuma rebellion broke 
out, and for ten months Saigo fought stubbornly with the 
overwhelming army of the government. When the final defeat 
came, he died with all his followers at Shiroyama in Satsuma. 
He was fifty-one years old at the time of his death. At Ueno 
Park in Tokyo, a large bronze statue of Saigo stands in a 
prominent position. 







Saigo Takamori was one day speaking to Sir Harry Parkes 
who at that time was British Minister to Japan. Said Saigo : 
" I am quite an ignorant man, and don't know anything about 
the present state of the world. There is something that I 
don't clearly imderstand. Will you please explain it to me?" 
*' Oh, certainly," replied the Minister. 

" Well," said Saigo, " they say that England is a depend- 
ency of France. Is that so?" "You must be joking, aren^t 
you? " enquired the Minister. "You who are a Councillor of 
State surely know very well that England is not a dependency 
of any country." 

"I am not at all clear on that point," replied Saigo, "for, 
you know, whenever our government negotiates with you 
about foreign affairs you always say. 'I'll 
give you an answer after consulting with the 
French Minister' ; or, ' The French Minister 
doesn't agree, so I cannot agree.' So it 
seems that you are unable to act without 
the consent of France. If you are the 
envoy with full powers from an independent 
country, I can't see why you should always 
follow the advice of the Minister from 

Sir Harry Parkes smiled grimly when 
he heard this ; but afterwards remarked to 
his friends : " Saigo is undoubtedl}^ the 
cleverest diplomat in Japan." 



^^^^...^^ :^ 

Okubo, Kiclo, and Saigo are called the three great men of the >^ 
Restoration. Each one had his strong points and each did /a 
great service. Both Okubo and Saigo were men of Satsuma 
Province, and were intimate friends from childhood. ?'J 

In the fourth year of Meiji, Oknbo together with *3 

Ito, Kido, and many others went abroad in the suite ^ 
of Prince Iwakura. Okubo devoted himself very ^ 
earnestly to the investigation of western civilization 
and learning, and determined to raise the general 
level of culture in Japan. 

Two years later, when this party returned from 
abroad, they found militarism rampant at home, with 
Saigo at the head, and bent on the invasion of Korea. 
Okubo and the rest of his party strongly opposed this, knowing 
the multitude of important reforms to be attended to at home. 
After vehement debates Saigo and his party retired from the 
government, and the Satsuma rebellion then followed. At this 
critical time Okubo stood firmly at the head of the government, 
and managed things with matcliless skill and wisdom. 

But he had incurred the hatred of the admirers of Saigo ; 
and in the eleventh year of Meiji, when on his way to a meet- 
ing of the cabinet, he was killed by assassins at Kioi-zaka in 
Tokyo. He was then forty-seven years old. Okubo was a 
man of great decision of character, and always calm and self- 
possessed. He was certainly one of the greatest statesmen and 
diplomatists of modem Japan. 



Two of the famous trio who did such great service at the 
Kestoration, have already been described; there remains the 
refined and scholarly statesman Kido Koin. He was a Samu- 
rai of the Choshu clan, and from his youth was distinguished 
for his bravery and marked ability. When the new admini- 
stration was first organized in Tokyo after the Kestoration, 
Kido and Okubo were the backbone of the government. 

Kido's chief services were in the adjustment of the greatly 
disorganized home affairs; and it was he who proposed the 
abolition of the clans, the accomplishment of which consum- 
mated the work of the Kestoration. The establishment of the 
senate and the supreme court was also the work of this great 
statesman. In this work he had an excellent assistant in the 
person of the late Prince Ito 
who was then a young man of 
about thirty. The relations 
between these two were almost 
like those of master and pupil ; 
and, in fact, it was mainly due 
to this connection that Ito ob- 
tained his unique opportunity. 

Kido was one of the party 
that went abroad on the famous 
mission with Prince Iwakura, 
and it was mainly he and Oku- 
bo who, on their return home, 
checked the militarism of Saigo 
and his party. Subsequently his health gradually declined, 
and during the Satsuma rebellion he died at the age of forty- 


(His last pliotograph). 



( 1 ) ■ # 

To tell adequately about tlie life of Prince Ito one would 
have to narrate the principal events of tlie Meiji era ; for lie 
was intimately connected with them all. So only a brief 
sketch of his career will be attempted here. Ito 
Hakubun was born in 1841, and was the son of 
a poor Samurai in the service of tlie lord of Clio- 
shu. When he was seventeen years old, he 
studied under the famous scholar and patriot 
Yoshida Shoin who attempted to go abroad when 
Commodore Perry came to Japan with his 
squadron (in 1854). 

At the age of twenty-two (in 1863), Ito to- 
gether with Inoue (now Marquis Inoue) went 
secretly to England. But after a few months 
they were sui-prised to see in The Times one 
day a report that the Choshu clan Was involved in serious 
trouble with foreign countries, and that the city of Shimono- 
seki was to be bombarded by a combined foreign fleet. There- 
upon Ito and Inoue hastily returned to Japan in the hope of 
saving their country from danger. 

On his retm-n to Japan, Ito was very useful as an adviser for 
foreign affairs, though he was often on the point of being 
assassinated by the anti-foreign party. But after the Resto- 
ration his official career was an uninterrupted success ; and his 
rapid promotion was almost without parallel in the history of 
Japan. A few more details of his public life will be given in 
the continuation of this sketch. 

1 82 


(2 ) 

In the first year of Meiji (1868), Ito became tlie governor of 
Hyogo, though he was then only twenty-eight years old. In 
the fourth year, he went abroad in the suite of Prince Iwakura, 
and on his return home he was made a State Councillor. 

After the death of Okubo in the eleventh year of Meiji, Ito 
and Okuma (now Count Okuma) were the two great figures in 
the government. And when, soon afterwards, Okuma 
was obliged to retire, Ito became the most promi- 
nent statesman in Japan. These two were very good 
friends privately, and esteemed each other very 
highly; but they differed greatly in their political 

In the fom-teenth year of Meiji (1881), Ito again 
went abroad to study the constitutions of western 
countries — for to him was intrusted the great task of 
forming a constitution for Japan. He was busily 
engaged in this work for several years, and in 1889 
the promulgation of the constitution took place. 

Ito was Prime Minister four times, the last cabinet 
formed by him being in the thirty-third year of Meiji 
(1900). The Japan and China war broke out during 
his second ministry, and finally he negotiated peace 
with Li Hung Chang. At the close of the Russo- 
Japanese war, Ito was raised to the rank of prince. 

It is hardly necessary to add how Prince Ito became liesi- 
dent-General of Korea, in 1905, and how he was assassinated 
by a Korean fanatic at Kharbin on the 26th of October, 1909, 
as these matters are well known to all. 




Marqnis Inoue and liis life-long friend Prince Ito went 
abroad together about fifty years ago. At that time no one but 
a few diplomatic officials of the feudal government was permit- .« 

ted to leave Japan. In fact, it meant certain death to '^ 

any one discovered attempting to do so. But in spite ^^ c^ 

of this, these two determined to risk it. They bought 
old foreign clothes in Yokohama, and disguising them- 
selves as much as possible, left Yokohama on a mer- 
chant-steamer, and arrived at Shanghai, where they 
made arrangements wdth a shipping company to get 
on to England. The manager of this shipping com- 
pany asked them their object in going abroad ; but as 
neither of them knew English well, they found it 
difficult to reply. At last Inoue opened a dictionary 
and pointed to the word " navigation," meaning sim- 
ply that it w^as their intention to cross the sea. The 
manager thought this meant that they were going 
to England to study navigation, and seemed to ap- 
prove of their intention, so they were allowed to work 
their way on a small sailing-ship via the Cape of ' ' 

Good Hope. 

The voyage to England took four months and eleven days, 
and during this time Ito and Inoue suffered great hardship ; 
for they were treated as common sailors and had nothing to eat 
but salt beef and hard biscuit. Their shipmates little thought 
that one of these rough-looking youths was to become a 
marquis ; and the other a prince, and the greatest statesman 
in Japan ! In after years, Ito and Inoue often laughed over 
their rough experiences on this terrible voyage. 



Prince Kitashirakawa, born in 1847, was commonly known 
as Prince Rinno-ji in the Restoration days, for he was then 
head priest of Rinno-ji, a famous temple at Ueno in Tokyo, it 
being the custom then for Princes of the Blood to become 

At the time of the Restoration, a fierce battle was fought in 
the grounds of this temple, between the imperial forces and 
several thousand vassals of the Shogun, who were very much 
discontented with the new government. They called them- 
selves the Shogitai (lit. "Loyal Band "), and Prince 
Rinno-ji, then a young man of about twenty, was put 
at their head, though rather against his own will. In 
this battle the rebels were defeated and fled to the 
north, where for several months the prince was obliged 
to fight with them against the imperial troops. At 
last Prince Kitashirakawa surrendered, and was taken 
to Kyoto for imprisonment. 

At the close of the Restoration warfare, the prince 
was pardoned on account of his youth; and in 1S70 
was sent to France to study military sciences. On 
his return to Japan seven years later, he was made a 
major in the regular army. In the twenty-fifth year 
of Meiji (1892), he was advanced to the rank of 
lieutenant-general ; and during the China and Japan 
war he commanded the Imperial Guards division 
which was sent to Formosa. Here he fought many 
battles against the rebel army led by a Chinese general. But 
before the war was over he died of typhus, at the age of forty- 
eight. His eldest son lately married Princess Tsune, a 
daughter of the Emperor. 



Katsu Kaisliu was a keen-siglited statesman in the service 

of the Tokngawa Shogunate, and played a very important part 

at the time of the Restoration. He was born in Yedo in 1823, 

and was one of the first to study the Dutch language 

^ and western sciences. He was rather poor then, and 

-^ could not afford to buy a Dutch dictionary ; for there 

-^ were very few copies in Yedo, and the price was 

>- ridiculously dear. But he managed to borrow one 

from a physician by paying ten dollars a year, and 

set about the heavy task of copying it. By working 

almost night and day, he was able in a year to finish 

two copies, one of wiiich he kept and the other he 

sold to pay his expenses. 

In 1855 he was sent to Nagasaki to study naval 
science under Dutch teachers; and his progress was 
so rapid that on his return to Yedo in 1859, he was 
appointed captain of a warship called the Kanho 
Mam, which soon afterwards conveyed to America 
^: an ambassador from the feudal government. This 

was the first Japanese warship sent abroad. 
But he will be remembered chiefly for his valuable services 
at the time of the Restoration, when he was chief councillor 
to the Shogim Keiki. For it was 
mainly owing to his advice that the 
Shogun quietly resigned, and thus 
averted civil war. After the Resto- J^S^J^^^^^^'l* 
ration, Katsu was Minister of the 
Navy for a short time; and was 
afterwards made a count and a mem- 
ber of the Privy Council. He cared little for fame or wealth, 
however, and spent the last years of his life very quietly in 
Tokyo. He died in 1899, at the age of seventy-foui*. 



Enomoto Buy 5, born in 1836, was tlie first Japanese to study 
naval science abroad. He went to Nagasaki when young and 
learned the arts of navigation and engineering under a Dutch 
teacher; and afterwards went to Holland for fui'ther study. 
He remained there for six years, until he became a proficient 
naval officer. 

On his return to Japan in 1866, he was appointed chief 
commissioner of the Shogun's navy. Bat soon after this, the 
Shogimate was abolished, when the Shogun Keiki peacefully 
retired from his office. There were many, however, who did 
not at all approve of this mild step ; and rebellion against the 
imperial forces arose both on land and sea. Enomoto was the 
leader of the naval revolters. 

The naval force in the service of the Shogun consisted of 
eight ships, mounting eighty-tln:ee guns. And Enomoto, tak- 
ing these ships from Yedo Bay in the night-time, sailed north- 
ward. The imperial fleet soon followed, and a sea-fight took 
place at Hakodate, with heavy casualties on both sides. 
Finally, Enomoto, having lost all of his eight ships, offered to 
give himself up, in order that his followers might be saved. 
This offer was accepted, and he was sent to Yedo as a captive ; 
but his gallant conduct and devotion to his chief were so 

keenly appreciated that 
-^^>?>^-' he was not only pardon- 
;^g5g^^^ ed, but was appointed a 
H%-" high official in the new 

government. In 1874 he 
was given the rank of 

^ __ vice-admiral, and sent as 

^~^ ~ ' an envoy to Russia to 

settle a frontier question. He was afterwards made a viscount, 
and did great service as Minister of the Navy, and also as 
Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, etc., etc. He died in 
1909 at the age of seventy-tliree. 


PRINCE YAMAGATA (see page 189). 



rebellion broke out (in 1877), lie was already ^jlf^t-y^h 

advanced to the rank of lieutenant-general, -^ 

and served as Chief-of-Staff to Prince Arisuga- 

wa. Next lie was in succession : Home Minister, Prime 

Minister, and Chief of the General Staff, and was promoted to 

the rank of full general. In the Japan and China war (1894-5) 

he played a most important part, and became known throughout 

the world as a great military leader. 

When the Russo-Japanese war came, he was too old to 
engage in active service at the front ; but when Marquis Oyama 
became leader of the Manchurian Army, Prince Yamagata took 
liis place as Chief of the General Staff. At present he is 
President of the Privy Council, and the most influential states- 
man in Japan. 

In character Prince Yamagata is a curious contrast to the late 
Prince Ito. For he is reserved, silent, and very rigorous in 
liabits ; while Prince Ito was frank, eloquent, and far from 
rigorous in either liabits or manner. The career of Prince 
Yamagata as a public man extends over half a century, and his 
distinguished services have won him the respect and gratitude 
of the nation. 


Prince Yamagata may be called the father of the modern 
Japanese Army ; and like a parent he has watched and tended 
its growth from infancy to full and vigorous manhood. He was 
early known as a good fighter, and at the time 

of the Restoration he did useful service for the '^ "^ ^ 

cause of his country. When the Satsuma Wfj wi^ 



Count Okuma was born in 1838, in the province of Hizen. 
In his youth he studied the Dutch language in Nagasaki and 
thus acquired some knowledge of foreign affairs. At the time 
of the Restoration, this knowledge proved very useful, and 
Okuma was given a high position in the new government. His 
promotion was very rapid, and he was appointed a State 
Councillor in 1870, when he was only thirty-three years old. 
His influence became greatest after the death of Okubo in 1878, 
and for a time he was considered the backbone of the govern- 
ment. But two years later he was obliged to withdraw from 
office, on account of difference of opinion with Prince Ito and 
others. He then organized a political party called the KaisJiin- 
tb, and vigorously opposed the government. He once became 
Prime Minister and also Minister of Finance, and Minister of 
Foreign Affairs. It was when Minister of Foreign Affairs that 
he lost his leg by the explosion of a dynamite bomb thrown at 
his carriage by a man named Kurushima. 

Count Okuma is vigorous both in mind and body, and takes a 

deep interest in all human prob- 
lems. His beautiful residence 
at Waseda in Tokyo is visited 
by people from all parts of the 
world, and his opinions on 
various subjects are much 

Besides being a statesman,. 
Count Okuma is also an educationist and a historian. The 
Waseda College which he founded is now the largest private 
university in Japan, and turns out several hundred graduates 
every year. 


ADMIRAL TOGO (see page 193). 



The world well knows about the victories of Admiral Togo in 
the Russo-Japanese war : how he fought and won against an 
enemy almost double in strength, and how in the last great 
fight he practically annihilated 
the attacking fleet. It is not so 
well known, however, what he had 
done before this fateful time. 

Admiral Togo was born in Sa- 
tsuma, the Sparta of Japan ; and 
entered the Navy when quite 
young. Soon afterwards he went 
to England where he remained for 

many years studying naval sciences. When the China-Japan 
war broke out, he was captain of the cruiser Naniiua^ and 
fought in the first naval battle. It is from this time that the 
name of Togo Heihachiro became widely known ; for it was he 
who sank the Koshin, flying the British flag, with twelve hund- 
red Chinese soldiers on board. He did his best to bring the 
Chinese officers to reason ; and fired on the ship only as a last 
resort, when nothing else could be done. His action at that 
time caused much hostile criticism of Japan ; but that Togo was 
clearly justified in taking this com*se was universally admitted 
in the end. In fact, his calmly resolute conduct on this occasion 
won the admiration of all. 

Few men in Japan are more loved and respected than 
Admiral Togo. He is always modest in bearing, and not given 
to speaking much. In fact, he is a man of deeds, not words. 
Ages hence, to future generations, the story of his gallant deeds 
will be told ; and the name of the great Admiral will be ever 
remembered in the history of Dai Nippon. 




Among the famous military men of Japan now living, none 
is more highly respected than General Nogi, the ideal Biislii 
and the world-famous hero of Port Arthur. He is a veteran 
who has passed through every kind of war trial, and has fought 
in many battles. At the time of the Satsuma rebellion (in 
1877), he w^as wounded severely in the leg and taken to a 
hospital ; but hearing the sound of the guns, he stole out from 
the hospital in the night-time, and went to join his comrades. 
That's the kind of a man he is. 

At the time of the Japan and China war, he was a major- 
general and took part in the capture of Port Arthur. This is 
one of the reasons why he was specially appointed ten years 
later to command the Third Army, and again to take Port 
Arthur. The siege of this great fortress lasted for about six 
months, and tens of thousands of lives were lost. 

The Russian soldiers fought so well, and the forts were so 

strong, that the reduction of Port Arthur was a most difficult 

undertaking. The world well knows how, in spite of all 

obstacles. General Nogi faithfully and successfully accomplished 

the task that was entrusted to him. Great, 

^ ' however, was his own personal loss, for both of 

\ tmA his sons were killed during the fighting, and he 

(^jflKglS is now childless. 
Y\j'|li|^l At the close of the war General Nogi was 

^\\l^-^ appointed President of the Peers' School in 

^^ Tokyo. It is touching to think of him in his old 

age, — a childless old man, with fatherly care looking after the 

children of others ! And ever striving to render noble service, 

and faithfully to fulfil his duty. 

dJbdJbc5b<5b<5b dJb^SbcSbdJb ^^<Sh 





General Tani was commander of tlie Kumamoto garrison 
when tlie Satsuma rebellion broke out, in 1877. And when the W 
news of the approach of Saigo at the head of about fifteen 
thousand rebels reached Kumamoto, ^ ' 

he determined that the castle should i^- -ifSS^iz ^^^ ^ 

never be taken. He burnt down the ,^^-^^J^^ ^ \J 

houses near the castle that might 
cover the enemy's attack, and prepared for the defence. 

The number of men under General Tani was only two thou- 
sand, but they were very well trained and well armed. In fact, 
his officers were the pick of the army ; for they included such 
men as Lieutenant-Colonel Kabayama, Major Oku, and Captain 
Kodama, who later became distinguished heroes in the wars 
with China and Russia. 

Saigo at first took up a contemptuous attitude ; for he ex- 
pected to take the castle with one blow. But when the attack 
began, he soon found out his mistake ; for the garrison fought 
so stubbornly and so well that his own Satsuma men at last 
began to despair. They spent fifty days in this vain attempt 
to capture the castle, and thus gave the government time to 
organize and send forward troops. In fact, the main cause of 
Saigo's ultimate destruction might well be attributed to the 
firm attitude and dauntless courage of General Tani and his 
men. General Tani — now over seventy and retired from the 
Army — still has a seat in the House of Peers, where his power- 
ful and scholarly speeches are sometimes heard. 



Admiral Kabayama is particularly noted for liis cool-lieaded 
courage and strong nerves. When the Satsuma rebellion broke 
out, in 1877, he was Chief-of -Staff to General Tani of the Ku- 
matoto garrison which for over fifty days withstood the siege of 
an overwhelming force of rebels. One day when Kabayama 
and his brother officers were taking lunch, a shell from one of 
the enemy's guns pierced the wall of the room, and exploded. 
Natm^ally this caused considerable confusion ; and some of the 
officers rushed out of the room. But Kabayama did not stir 
from his seat. He went on eating his meal as if nothing had 
happened ; and gazed calmly at the enemy through the hole in 
the wall made by the shell. 

At the time of the China and Japan war, he was Chief of the 
Naval Staff; and when the combined fleet under Admiral Ito 
set out to search for the enemy's fleet, Kabayama went along 
on board an unarmed steamship named the Saikyb Maru. Soon 
the Japanese fleet met the enemy's warships in the China 
Sea, and naval warfare commenced (on the 17th of September, 
1894) ; but the Saikyb Maru being a slow ship, was left 

far behind. A Chinese torpedo- 
SJ7 boat, taking advantage of this, 

quickly approached and fired a 
Whitehead torpedo at the Saikyb 
O^T^^ ^^(^'^u from a distance of about 

fifty yards. All thought that 
the ship was doomed ; but 
Admiral Kabayama calmly 
watched the approaching torpedo 


as if it were nothing but a fish or a harmless seal. Fortunately 
the torpedo passed under the ship, and no harm was done. 
Admiral Kabayama is now about seventy years old, and still 
enjoys good health. 




At the time of tlie Restoration, Marshal Oyama, then a Sa- 
murai of Satsuma Province, had already distinguished himself. 
And since then he has been connected with all military move- 
ments in Japan. Shortly after the 
Restoration he went to Europe to study 
military science, and on his return he 
w^as appointed major-general. At the 

time of the Satsuma rebellion he com- \Vn ^\\ )*Wj!} ^^^ 
manded a brigade, and his com^age and 
remarkable skill became more and more 

widely recognized. In 1880 he was appointed Chief of the 
General Staff, and three years later he became Minister of War. 
When the China and Japan w^ar broke out he was already 
advanced to the rank of full general ; and as commander of the 
Second Army, he captured Port Arthur. 

Ten years later, when the Russo-Japanese war broke out, he 
again did great service as Commander-in-Chief of the Manchu- 
rian armies ; and the name of Marshal Oyama became known 
tlu'oughout the world. He was made a prince after the war. 

Prince Oyama is very broad-minded and amiable in disposi- 
tion ; and his beaming smile and ready wit never fail him. He 
is perfectly calm in all emergencies, and is beloved by all who 
serve under liim. In fact, his is just the right kind of character 
for a man in his jDOsition. He is now seventy years old, but is 
still very robust in health. His wife. Princess Oyama, was one 
of the first Japanese ladies educated in America. 



General Kodama's career was a brilliant one from the outset. 
When he was a young lieutenant serving in the Kumamoto 
garrison (in 1876), a band of political malcontents rose in revolt 
there, and kiUed General Taneda and many other officers ; so 
that the Tokyo government felt very uneasy, fearing that the 
Kumamoto castle might be taken by the revolters. But Prince 
(then Lieutenant-General) Yamagata calmly remarked, " It 
seems that Kodama is safe ; and if so, we needn't be anxious 
about the garrison." 

In the following year, when the Satsuma rebellion broke out 
and a large army sent by Saigo Takamori besieged the Kuma- 
moto garrison, Kodama was still in service there on the staff of 
General Tani ; and greatly distinguished himself during the 
siege which lasted for more than fifty days. 

His remarkable ability being now fully recognized, his 
promotion was rapid, and he always occupied posts of honour. 
During the ten years in which he was Governor-General of 
Formosa he showed great administrative talent, and the rapid 
development of Formosa was largely due to his wise manage- 
ment. But he was called away from this post when the Busso- 
Japanese war broke out, to play an important part as Chief-of- 
Staff of the Manchurian Army. During 
the war he was promoted to the rank of 
full general ; and at the close of the war 
he took the place of Prince Oyama as 
Chief of the General Staff. He died 
suddenly of congestion of the brain in 
1906. General Kodama was only five feet in height ; but ex- 
tremely active both in mind and body, and of a very cheerful 
and amiable disposition. 





Tlie late Marquis SaigO, yomi[rer brother of tlie famous 
Saigo Takamori, was also a remarkable man in liis way. 
At ordinary times lie seemed rather commonplace ; but when 
anything important happened, his 
rare capacity revealed itself. He 
had always a pleasing way with him, 
and was a refreshing humourist, not 
avei'se to a practical joke now and 
then. When others were dejected 
he was merry ; and when others were 
quarrelling he would be joking, and 
his good humour usually had the 
effect of clearing the air. 

Once wiien he was Minister for Home Affairs, a local governor 
named Kitagaki came and made a complaint against some 
measure taken by the Home Office officials ; and argued his 
point so hotly and with so much reason that his hearers were 
much embarrassed. Just then Marquis Saigo entered the 
room with a cigar in his mouth. He took in the situation at 
a glance; and quietly approaching the angry and blustering 
governor from behind, he applied the hot end of the cigar to 
his neck. The governor gave a sudden jump as if he had 
been shot; and the startled expression on his face was so 
irresistibly funny, that Saigo and the others roared with 
laughter. And then the governor also, in spite of himself, was 
compelled to laugh. So after that the talk became more 
peaceful, and all went well. 



At an early stage in tlie Russo-Japanese war three attempts 
were made by tlie Japanese Navy to l)lock tlie entrance to 
Port Arthur. A number of picked men lost tlieir lives in these 
attempts ; but their daring deeds had a very good moral effect. 
Especially admirable was the heroic action of Commander 

He was then senior torpedo officer of the battleship AsaJd 
and w^as chosen to command one of the first blockading ships. 
On this first occasion he returned safely; but as the result 
was not quite satisfactory, he tried a second time. This time 
his blockading ship was placed in the desired position, but 
when they lowered a boat to leave the ship. Commander Hirose 
noticed that the chief w^arrant officer called Sugino was not 
there. He at once w^ent back and searched everywhere for the 
missing man. But he could not find him, so at 
last he had to give it up and get into the small 
boat. Just as the boat was pushing off, a shell 
suddenly struck Commander Hirose and he was 
blown to pieces ; nothing remaining but his blood- 
stained cap. 

At Banseibashi in Tokyo there is a bronze 
statue of Hirose ; and under him another figure is 
shown with a hatchet in his hand. This figure 
fg represents Cliief Warrant Officer Sugino for whom 

1^ the brave Hirose gave his life. 





Fukuzawa is regarded as the greatest educationist of the 
Meiji era. He was born in Bungo Province (in 1834), and 
when quite young went to Nagasaki where he studied Dutch 
with so much success that he after- 
wards taught this language for a 
time. But he soon came to see that 
Enghsh was more important ; and in 
spite of many obstacles, he was able 
to acquire a knowledge of this lan- 
guage also. 

At that time several embassies were sent abroad by the 
Tokugawa government, and Fukuzawa managed to go along 
as one of the attendants. So in this way he was able to visit 
America twice and Europe once. And as no one at that time 
had such opportunities for seeing foreign customs, the in- 
formation collected and published in book form by Fukuzawa 
was very widely read and much appreciated by the nation. 

When he at last returned from his travels abroad, he at 
once founded a school called the Keio Gijuku at Sliiba in 
Tokyo, and there taught English and other useful things. 
He stood quite apart from the tumult of the Kestoration, and 
it is a w^ell- known fact that on tlie verj^ day when a bloody 
battle was fought at Uyeno Park between the retainers of the 
Shogun and the Imperial Army, he calmly attended his school 
and gave his lecture as usual. This school, the Keio Gijuku, 
is now almost the largest school in Japan, and many well- 
known men have been educated there. 

In addition to this educational work, Fukuzawa founded the 
Jiji-Shhnpb, now the leading newspaper in Japan. He died in 
1901, at the age of sixty-eight. 



Tlie name of NakamiTra Seiclioku will be long and gratefully 
remembered as that of a scholar who appeared in the early 
part of the Meiji era. He was born in Yedo, in 1832, and 
when yomig studied the Chinese classics with such diligence 
that at the age of thirty he was appointed lecturer to the 

Meanwhile he had taken up the study of foreign languages,, 
and in 1866 he was sent to England where he stayed for two 
years. On his return home, he set about the translation of 
Smiles' Self Help into Japanese ; and the contents of this- 
boolv were so interesting, and the translation so good, that it 
was read enthusiastically by all, and an immense number of 
copies were sold. In fact, no other translation that has 
appeared in the Meiji era has had such a far-reaching influence 
as this. 

In the sixth year of Meiji (1873), Nakamura founded a 
X)riYate school at Koishikawa in Tokyo, and many prominent 
men in Japan are graduates of this school. For many years 
it w^as considered the rival of the Keio college founded by 
Fukuzawa; but it was finally closed when Nakamura was 
appointed a professor in the Imperial University. 

He was made a member of the House of Peers in 189(1, 
and in the same year was appointed president of the Higher 
Normal School, in addition to his ^professorship in the Univer- 
sity. But in the following year he died at the age of sixty. 

t-i^^(^^ \^^%^^^ t^^i^'Wft; 


' ^ 



^■^ *^~i^^ 



Zen or Zen-na is a Cliinese renderiDg of tlie Sanscrit worJ 
Dhydna (lit " contemx:)lation " j. At its best it is said to be a 
system of dee^) meditation by means of which interior en- 
lightenment or contemplation of truth — culminating in Samd- 
dhi — may be attained. At its worst, and in its degenerated 
form, it is apt to be merely a kind of 
self -hypnotism. Many people famous 
in Japanese history have practised 
Zen; and it has had much influence 
on the national culture. It is at 
present the best form of Buddhism 
in Japan ; and is still x^ractised and 
esteemed by many highly educated 

people. At Kamakura, where one of the principal Zen temples 
called Engaku-ji is situated, e\'en young men — students of the 
universities, and others— may frequently be found sitting for 
days at a time seeking tlie solution of the puzzling questions 
set them by their Zen teachers. 

This system came to Japan from China, where it was 
introduced from India in A.D. 5*20 by an Indian mystic 
named Bodhidharma — better known as Daruma (see page 28) 
whose odd figure is known to every child in Japan. In 1 192 
the famous priest Eisai founded the first Zen school (called 
R'lnzai-sliu) in Japan. And in 1227 Dogen founded the 
Sudo-sM. The third branch called the ObaJcit-sJm, was brought 
from China by a priest named Ingen in 1665. Eisai is also 
credited with introducing the tea plant into Japan. Other 
well known Zen x)riests are Hakuin, Gazan, Genkei, and Gesshii. 
Hojo Tokimune, who resisted the demands of Kublai Khan, 
was also a votary of Zen. There are at present 20,420 Zen 
temples in Japan. 



Apropos of ascetics (see page 30), it is necessarj' to add some- 
tliing about the occult arts of old Japan. The word Sen-jutsu 
(>f[l]^i|Lf) seems to have been used for a superior form of magic ; 
while the word Majutsii (J8#x)j from its etymology of ma (/g) 
a demon and j\itsu (^j|^) art, was used for a lower form. Among 
the various occult practices may be mentioned Kami-orosln, a 
kind of mediumship, supposed to be possession by a god or 
superior spirit. Kuchi-yose, a lower form of the latter, is a 
kind of necromancy practised mainly by old women, called 
icJdko (witches). This was forbidden by law, but is still 
practised secretly to some extent. Kohkuri is a kind of table- 
turning. Eld is a form of divination, and akin to Uranai, 
fortune-telling by palmistry or astrology. Sldnobi-jnthu is the 
art of becoming invisible. Ki-ai is a kind of shout issuing 
from the abdomen to cast a spell over a person or animal. 
There are also various forms of exorcism practised mainly by 
priests in cases of obsession, which, by the way, is usually 
attributed to foxes or badgers. 

These various practices have fallen into disrepute, owing to 
the abuses they gave rise to. At present they are confined 
mainly to ignorant persons, and are usually disbelieved in 
altogether by men of modern education. Of 
late years, however, the subject of psychic 
phenomena has attracted the attention of a small 
group of scholars, notably Prof. Fukurai of the 
Imperial University and Prof. Imamura of the 
Kyoto University; and experiments of various 
kinds are described in two or three books that 
have appeared on the subject. Clairvoyance has 
also attracted considerable attention lately, 
owing to the appearance of two ladies believed 
(^^^0^ to possess this faculty. In Bakin's works con- 
siderable mention is made of various occult arts. 


By permission of the Gaho-sha 


Kano Hogai's masterpiece. (see page 215). 



For about teu years after tlie Restoration, the Japanese 
nation was so overwlielmed with the changes caused by con- 
tact with western civilization that Japanese art was c^uite 
neglected, and works of art in jnu-e Japanese style were treated 
as if they were almost worthless. 
For example, pictures by the 
famous Sesshu (see jmge 105), 
now worth ten thousand yen, 
were then sold for only six or 
seven yen. 

The revival of Japanese paint- 
ing and its .appreciation were 
mainly due to the efforts of the 
late Ernest Fenellosa, a professor 
at the Imperial Univei*sity in 
Tok^o, who came to Japan in 
1879. He was struck by the 
beauty oi Japanese painting, 
and devoted himself to its investigation and preservation. 
This led to the opening of an art exhibition in 1882, and the 
establishment of the present Art School in 188S ; and these 
two events were the harbingers of the revival. 

Among the thousands of painters who have appeared since 
then, probably the greatest was Kano H(3gai. His pictm*es 
soon attracted the attention of Prof. Fenellosa, and he rapidl}' 
became famous. His greatest masterpiece is a i)icture of 
Kwannon, now preserved in the Tokyo Art ScIkkjI. He died 
in 1888. Hashimoto Gaho, who died in 1908, was almost 
equally great. He taught painting in the Art School for 
many years. Among the famous jiainters now living may be 
mentioned the names of Gyokusho, Kampo, Kogyo, Kwan- 
zan, Fuko, Shoen, Gvokudo, Keinen, and GekkO. 




Nowadays every sclioolboy in Japan lias some knowledge 

of English, and foreign books of every kind are accessible to 

all. But tilings w^ere very different in tlie early days of tlie 

Restoration. In tliose days the various 

clans were eager to engage men with 

a knowledge of foreign languages. The 

lord of Satsuma especially was eager to 

find some one with a good knowledge of English, and at last 

he was fortunate enough to engage Maejima Mitsu who was 

one of the best linguists at that time. 

Now, this lord had a certain treasure which he valued 

very much, and he promised to show it to Maejima, though 
it was very seldom sliow^n to any one. When 
the time came to look at the treasure, Maejima 
carefully purified himself, and putting on his 
best clothes went to the lord's palace to view 
the precious article. After making several 
I30WS, he began respectfully to take off the 
covering of the treasure. Inside he found a 
beautiful lacquered box, and inside of this 
again, wrapped in brocade, was the treasure. 
With trembling hands he removed the cloth, 
and lo ! there was exposed to his astonished 
gaze a copy of Webster's Unabridged Dic- 
tionary ! 


HITACHI YAM A, THE CHAMPION (see page 220). 



Tlie Japanese national sport of Sumo, or wrestling, dates from 
yerj ancient times. Tlie fii-st wrestling match mentioned in 
history was held in the imperial palace diu-ing the reign of the 
Emperor Sninin (said to be in 93 B. 


In this historic contest, the famous 
Xomi no Snknne beat the redoubta- 
ble champion named Taima no Ke- 

During the Emperor Kammu's 
reign (782 — 806), an annual festival called the Sumd-secMe fii-st 
began to be held in the palace, where officers of the Com*t were 
ordered to show their skill in wrestling before the Emperor and 
nobles. This festival was continued for many centuries. 

The public exhibition of wrestling by professionals dates from 
the Ashikaga age ; but it was from the latter part of the eight- 
eenth century that wrestling became very popular among the 
citizens of Yedo. The Avrestling ring was then, as it is at 
present, in the grounds of a Buddhist temple called Eko-in, 
situated in what is now the Honjo district of Tokyo. And it is 
here that the great wrestling matches are still held twice a 
year, usually in January and May. 

The wrestlers are divided into two parties called the East and 
the West, and the champion on each side is styled YoJcomna. 
At the wrestling matches now held in a large round building, 
there is great excitement wlien two champions meet, and hats 
and coats are freely flung into the ring by enthusiastic 




Tlie cliampiou wrestler is called Yolvziina, and at present 
tliere are two cliampions wlio hold tliis coveted title : one is 
named Hitacliiyama (lit. " Mount Hitachi "}, and the other 
Umegatani (lit. " Plum Valley "). 

Hitacliiyama is considered to be one of the strongest w^res- 
tlers that have ever appeared in Japan. He is the son of a 
Samnrai, and was born in the city of Mito in the sixth year of 
the present Meiji era. As a boy he attended a primary school 
and afterwards a middle school ; but owing to his gi'eat and 
increasing strength, he finally gave up study and became a 
wrestler when about twenty years old. Ten years later he got 
the ('hampionship, and for several 3^ears he was w^ithout a rival 

in skill and strength. 

About three years ago he went 
on a tour to America and Em-ope, 
and gave an exhibition of wrestling 
before the President of the United 
States. He is now about forty 
years old, and will prolmbly retire 
before long, as it is customary for wrestlers to do so and 
become what is called Toshiyori (lit. " elder "), at about this 
age. It may be added that Hitacliiyama is five feet ten inches 
in height, and weighs about three hundred and forty pounds. 



the founder of the new school 

Tlie origin of Japanese Jujutsu is not 
clear, but it seems to be comparatively 
moclern. According to tradition, a 
Cliinaman named Cliin, who came to Japan 
in 1659, first tauglit tliis art to three Samurai ; 
hut it was yery primitiye and differed a good 
deal from the Jujutsu of to-day. The first man to 
become famous in this art was Yoshiokn, Kempo who 
liyed in the latter half of the seyenteenth centmy, and 
the story of his curious contest with a skilful fencer named 
Miyamoto Musashi is well known. 

Dui"ing the Tokugawa era, many specialists in Jvjutsu appear- 
ed, and gradually divided into many different schools. But it 
was not until the present Meiji era that the strong points of 
these schools wei-e combined into a ncAv and better sj^stem now 
called Judo. This w^as accomplished, after careful study and 
selection, by Mr. Kano Jigoro, president of the T6k3'6 Higher 
Normal School. The training schcx)l established by Mr. Kano 
is called the Kodokan, and thousands of young men learn Judo 
in this famous school. In all parts of Japan Judo is now taught 
by men from the Kodokan. A number of foreigners also, 
including naval and military officers, have learned something of 
the art in this school. 




Both No and Kijbgen were dramas exclusively for tlie upper 
classes. But people of the middle and lower classes also need- 
ed some such entertainment : so to meet this demand there 
appeared — towards the end of the sixteenth century— two kinds 
of theatrical performance called Joruri and Kahiiki. The 
former is a kind of puppet show accompanied with ballad sing- 
ing ; and reached its highest development in Osaka, with Chi- 
kamatsu as the principal playwright. Even now the Joruri is 
played there all the 3^ear round, in a famous theatre called the 
" Bunrakuza." 

But the theatrical performance proper was the Kahulci. This 
was founded by a woman named 0-kuni, who formed a company 
of female players in Kyoto. They soon became very popular, 
and are said to have played before such great personages as 
Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. But after a few years, the authorit- 
ies, considering it injurious to public morals, forbade women to 
appear on the stage, so their place was taken by men who acted 
as female impersonators. Fortunately women players have 
now appeared again, and a school for actresses has been lately 
formed in connection with the fine, new Imperial Theatre. 

Since the beginning of the present Meiji era, the Kahuld has 
become more and more popvilar with all classes ; and the tone 
of the theatre as well as the social position of actors has 
steadily improved. During the earlier period of KcibiiJd the 
two greatest actors were Tojuro and Danjiu-6 (the first) ; and in 
recent times the greatest were Danjuro (the ninth) and Kikugo- 
ro (the fifth). Danjuro (see p)age 225) especially was quite 
unique, and might be called the Irving of Japan. The Kabuki 
drama is now commonly designated Kyu-ha, or old school, to 
distinguish it from the Shim-pa, or new realistic school, which 
sprang up about twenty years ago. 


Bypertnission of Mr. 


Playing the part of Benkei. (see page 67) 



These gods, symbolizing certain virtues, are mostly of Indian 
origin ; but they have become quite naturalized in Japan, and j^ 
are so closely commingled with the everyday life of the nation 
that they are constantly referred to 
even by children. Innumerable 
pictures of them and images may 
be found everywhere in Japan. 

Jurojin is the god of long life (^. 
^), and keeps a book in which the 
life of each person is recorded. He 
is always represented holding a staff 

and accompanied by a crane as an emblem of longevity, and a 

Daikoku, the god of wealth (;^M{S)' c^'^i'i'i^s a golden mallet 
and a bag of treasures ; and is represented sitting on straw rice 
bags which rats are gnawing, 

Fukurokuju, the god of popularity (AM)? is represented as an 
old man with a long head equal to his body in length, with a 
long, thick beard and bright, pleasant eyes. He is attended by 
a crane, a dear or a tortoise. 

Yebisu, the god of integi'ity (fpfjjtj, is a stout, jovial old 
X^ersonage with a winning smile. He is represented holding a 
fishing-rod, with a large sea-bream which he has caught. 

Bishamon, the god of dignity (^;)fe), is represented wearing 
armour, and trampling on two devils. In his right hand he 
holds a sacred globe containing priceless treasures which he 
gives to those found worthy. 

Hotel, the god of magnanimity (^Cm^? i^ shown with a large 
forehead and an enormous abdomen. He carries a large bag 
wdth a staff, and never loses his temper, however he may be 

Benten, the goddess of amiability (^'gjc), is a beautiful woman 
often represented mounted on a dragon. She wears a coronet 
in which there is a white serpent, with a face resembling that 
of a venerable old man. 




A certain Japanese uoblemau had a sou wlio was just old 
euougli to become a soldier. But tlie fatlier did uot want liis 
son to enter tlie Army, so lie tried all means to prevent it. At 
last he thought of his friend Surgeon-General Baron Ishiguro 
who was at that time head of the medical department. He 
thought that perhaps the surgeon would use his influence to 
enable the young man to escape military service. So he sent his 
steward to the Surgeon-General's house with a present of kaUu- 
ohuslti, (dried bonito), and told him to say, " My master hoi)es 
that you w^ill show his son special favour in the medical 



When Baron Ishiguro heard this, he pretended to mistake the 
meaning of what the steward said and 
replied, " Your master has indeed a 
^ g^ noble mind. As you know, it is not 

I but the examinins: surgeon who ex- 


'S \^ >w ^^N amines the young men ; but I will do 

^¥^^|(^^SlV ^I iny best to get him to show special 

^^ ' favour to your master's son. And I 

sincerely hope that he will have the 

honour of passing the examination, and thus becoming a 

defender of the State, as your patriotic master desires." 

The steward thanked him and hurried away with a very red 





In tlie second year of Meiji, Mr. (now Baron) Sliibusawa, tlie 
famous financier, went abroad in tlie suite of tlie lord of Mito, a 
brother of Prince Keiki Tokugawa, the last of the Shoguns. 
Before starting he went to a tailor's shop in Yoko- 
hama and bought a ready-made evening dress suit. 
He was very much pleased with the style of it, and 
said to his friends : "I think this kind of a coat is 
worn l)y Samurai in Western countries, for, as you 
see, it is cut away in front, giving room for the swords." 

Well, when the party arrived at Hongkong, they put up at 
the best hotel ; and as it was then about noon, Mr. Sliibusawa 
put on his swallow-tail ever, he found that the 

coat, and started for the M)^ servants of the hotel 

dining-room to take /K\, treated him without any 

luncheon. A respect whatever. At 

To his surprise, how- last he called one of 

them and asked why he was treated so coolly, while the other 
members of tlie party were shown so much respect. 

" Why, you're only a waiter, aren't you ? " encjuired the 
servant. " A Avaiter ? " cried Mr. Sliibusawa, " wliv, 
certainly not, what made 3'ou think so? " 

" Well, sir," replied the servant, " I hope j^ou'll 
excuse ine, but it's only waiters that wear evening 
dress in the dav-time." 




m Wlien Minra Goro was Commander-iu-Cliief of tlie Hirosliima 

Garrison, one day his old friend Shirai Kosnke called on liim. 
j^ At this time Goro happened to be out, so Kosnke handed a box 
s^^ of cake to the servant and went away. When Goro came back, 
" the servant told him that his old friend had called during his 
absence and left as a present a box of cake. When Goro heard 
this, he remarked with a sigh, " Poor Kosuke ! He must have 
fallen off a good deal. To think of such a rowdy as lie was 
coming to my house like an old woman with a present of cake ! " 
About a month afterwards, however, a man from a neighbour- 
ing cake shop came to Miura's house and requested payment 
for a box of cake. The servant reported this to his master and 
said, " It is the cake which Mr. Shirai Kosuke brought when 
he called here last month. It seems that he never paid for it, 
bvit told them in the cake shop to send the bill to 3^ou." 

" Well," remarked Goro with another sigh, " I was mistaken 
about Kosuke. He has not become so foolish after all." 

[the end] 


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This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

Wr 22 1947 . 





]^0V 51955 LU 
FEBl 2W56LU 




MAR 2 1959 




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LD 21-100m-12,'46(A2012sl6)4120 

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